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Ask Ayla: How to Stay Motivated Throughout the Dreary Winter Days


Confession time: last week I went to class only one day out of the five. No, I am not proud to be admitting this, but sadly I am not the only one being affected by the winter/end-of-the-semester blues. It’s not like I PLANNED to skip class. See what happened was, somehow my alarm clock kept snoozing itself magically, all the way through my classes (I admit to nothing). My theory, you ask? When you’ve been on over-drive for a good three months your body starts to reject any more stress you pour into it. As a result, both you and your academic will to finish the semester strong become increasingly more depleted until you end up sleeping through a majority of your classes. Do not let this happen to you! Be proactive and prevent this “crash and burn syndrome” before your alarm starts to mysteriously snooze itself all the way through your classes (again, I admit to nothing).

                                                                                               *Image from MoodyNCheeky.com

The Steps to Survival:

1. Make sure you are at least trying to get 8 hours of sleep a night. I don’t care how much you have to do because I guarantee you won’t be doing it to the best of your ability if you’re sleep-deprived.

2. Do not let your diet become ramen noodles, frozen pizza, and sushi because you’re too lazy to get anything else. Maintaining healthy eating habits can make a big difference when your body needs some positive fuel to run on. Just like you wouldn’t fill up your gas tank with mud, don’t fill up your body with junk.

3. I cannot say this next tip enough: BREAKFAST, BREAKFAST, AND MORE BREAKFAST. You need to eat breakfast before you start your day. I know there are those people who say that they just don’t like breakfast or it just doesn’t help them, well you know what, they’re missing out. Breakfast is an essential meal because it gives you the energy you need for that jump start in the morning. Unless you’re one of those weird, scarily perky morning people, you should probably eat breakfast and give yourself a much needed fuel boost.

                                                                                                             *Image from Chefmom.sheknows.com

4. Although I know that this can be quite challenging, especially in the wintertime, but you should try to exercise at least three times a week. Yes, I sincerely sympathize with all of you who don’t want to brave the walk to the gym or would just rather watch Modern Family, but it is inevitable that we need to exercise, both for our physical and our mental health. If you won’t listen to me, listen to Elle Woods: “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” Although we may not be contemplating killing husbands, we may be contemplating burning our textbooks or giving up on a paper completely. When you’re under the stress of upcoming finals, you’re going to want all of the endorphins that you can get — trust me. Bonus: it’s proven that being outside helps people relax and feel a more general sense of calmness.

Girls, we have about a week left until Thanksgiving. That means we need to push through until we’re home feeling sick to our stomachs from turkey and, in my case, apple pie. And after that, we have a little over a week until winter break! Now that’s the ultimate finish line. I know it’ll be hard, but follow these tips and you’ll be sure to finish the semester off strong!

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Ayla Yazdani

Wake Forest

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