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Do you ever take a look in the mirror and actually process your own reflection? If you’re anything like me, then you may look in the mirror several times a day to make sure your hair isn’t frizzy and skin looks clear. But most of those times, I don’t actually stop to look beneath the surface. Living in such a fast-paced society can be a thrill. I’m constantly doing something new and am always on the go. On the other hand, sometimes I get so caught up with my lifestyle that I forget to take a look at the bigger picture and evaluate what is really important to me. More often than not, I find myself constantly comparing myself to the people on my Instagram feed.

If this pandemic has taught me anything, someone’s world can be turned upside down within seconds. On a day-to-day basis, it can become difficult to reflect and appreciate life. However, ever since quarantine, I’ve made it my mission to truly live in the moment. This goal is definitely easier said than done, which is why I’ve implemented physical tasks into my daily routine to make sure I am not taking anything for granted. Here are some of the ways I have learned to step back and live in the moment.

Designate an hour of alone time every day

As someone who thrives off of spending as much time with other people as possible, this is definitely the hardest task for me. I am someone who loves to surround herself with others, even if I’m just doing a small errand with a friend. However, I have come to realize that in order to be my best self, I have to make sure I have a good relationship with who I am as a person. I’ve also learned that sometimes just setting aside time to clear my head is exactly what I need to set my mood for the rest of the day. I often find myself stressed with work, friends and other daily activities, but spending time with myself is typically the perfect cure. My favorite way to occupy this hour is by taking a walk. As a New Yorker, I’ll always appreciate the Florida weather, and what better way to take advantage of the sunshine state than walking around UF’s campus?

Set a weekly goal for yourself

I’ve always been someone who does best when keeping organized, which is why I am a huge advocate for Google calendar and the Notes app. Sometimes, I find myself doing the same things on a weekly basis that don’t often mean much in the grand scheme of things. In order to challenge myself, I try to set a weekly goal in order to properly reflect on myself and appreciate life. Some of my past goals include forming a good relationship with one of my teachers and finding time to write something just for myself.

Try to say yes to anything

Whether it’s expanding my taste palette by trying a new food or going on a roller coaster that seems scary, trying new things helps me grow as a person. I often find myself satisfied when I push myself. Whenever I try new things, I learn more about myself, my likes and my dislikes.

All in all, I know I can’t be permanently happy. My biggest takeaway from this past year is happiness isn’t an ongoing lifestyle, but it is a short-term moment. Nonetheless, I think doing whatever it takes to make those moments happen as much as possible is what truly has taught me how to live life to the fullest.

Jolie Freedman is a Sophomore at the University of Florida and is from Melville, New York. Jolie is working towards achieving a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with an outside concentration in marketing. Jolie has a passion for storytelling and digital media, and she places a heavy emphasis on the importance of social media. Jolie is also a campus trendsetter for Her Campus Media and an ambassador for the College of Journalism and Communications. Aside from her journalistic involvement, Jolie enjoys skiing and art. Jolie's inspiration to join the Her Campus community stems from her involvement as the Print Manager and Staff Writer/Editor for her high school's newspaper.
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