September, pumpkin spice latte runs, Charlotte Brontë and boots. Well, also the first semester of school which I used to be so unhappy about… But now that I’m a senior and it’s my final year it’s gotten quite melancholic. So I decided to share a few things that helped me break through and make school more exciting and pleasurable. Whether you’re in high school, university, or work – this will do, (wink)
So before we get into the details, your attitude is such a big one here. I know school isn’t exactly a place that reminds us of any form of pleasure, but try to think of it as a place in which you CHOOSE to study and become better. Create a vision of school being the time for you to build your future and even if your subjects don’t resonate with that vision – trust me, wisdom acquired in school is incredibly impactful in life. Just think of all the little, interesting facts you’ve learnt and how many people you could impress with them, impress yourself. I think of school as a place that makes it possible for me to broaden my set of interests and acknowledge what is going on around the world. Let’s say psychology, which by the way I do adore wasn’t my strong side and I never felt like studying it. I’d take psychology classes as an opportunity to try and learn about it, use it in life, look at it from a different perspective. Knowing more is generally quite helpful in life – it opens many new paths for you.
So before the wall of text, here’s my fall moodboard. I love creating these any time I feel like I could use a bit a change in life, or just motivate myself to truly put in the effort to get somewhere. The moodboards make visualization so much easier and just looking at them makes me want to pursue my dreams and work hard every day. Have you ever tried creating one?
Before School Morning Routine
01. I really appreciate the extra time I get when I wake up early, because my morning becomes so much more intentional. My school bus picks me up at 7:55am, so I’ll usually wake up around 6am to really give myself the time to prepare without rush and incorporate moments for myself. I also love waking up before others, when it’s still quiet around and only the birds outside are chirping, I feel like then I really dive deep into the pleasure of “slow & meaningful mornings”.
02. As a yoga teacher and a student at once, which basically means connecting working with your body and sitting half the day during lectures – my body becomes so stiff and tense and when I wake up and stretch it out it feels like heaven. So much space created, it feels like my heart is opened and ready for the new day and inviting love and peace and serenity.
03. I try to meditate most mornings, at least for 5 minutes to really begin the day calmly, without rush, gently for my mind and body. Life teaches us to rush, finish everything super quickly and since I am aware of that being a big part of my day I want to give myself this moment to let go and just be and show my body it’s okay not to rush through everything, but really soak in the moment and be grateful.
04. Make your bed. It sounds annoying and time taking, but it really just takes one throw of your duvet and patting your pillows. Notice how your room becomes so much clearer, easier to think in, easier to focus and so much more pleasurable to spend time in. Then you come back home to a neat house, instead of having to clean it later, or studying in that mess.
05. Skincare, my favorite! The cold splash of water after a full night of sleep is like the first green leaf on the sleepy, winter tree. I never used spf before, but since around a year back I read a few articles, studies and saw pictures of how differently those who use spf and those who don’t look like and the condition of their skin and realized it is so important, especially as a surfer when I spend an incredibly big amount in the ocean, covered in sun to use it and take care of my youthful skin.
06. Make yourself a tea, or coffee. The whole process takes such a short time, but infuses the entire house with the smell of freshly brewed coffee, or herbal tea and trust me on this one – brings you the biggest smile. I personally love coffee, sometimes I’ll make a plant based cappuccino, or most days I just drink plain black.
07. I wish I journaled more often, if you ever tried beginning your day with writing a bit about how you feel, what you’re looking forward to that day, what you’re grateful for – you know it sets your day and makes it so much more productive and intentional. ~You have your the, or offer and this moment becomes insanely magical. There are so many journal prompts on Pinterest, you can come up with them on your own, or even just write what comes to your mind. There are no rules in journaling, just being yourself.
08. Healthy breakfast & my favorites would be greek yogurt with blueberries, roasted hazelnuts, agave syrup, a weetabix and a tablespoon of nut butter, avocado toast sprinkled with chili flakes and eggs on the side, or cinnamon – banana plant based oatmeal. I love taking time to savor my meal, so I leave it for the last thing to do before I leave off to school to know how much time I have left! If you want to see more healthy breakfast recipes, click here.
AFTER SCHOOL NIGHT ROUTINE
01. Changing into neat, comfy clothes and folding the uniform if you have one. I used to throw my uniform all around the room and then walk around the mess I made feeling unproductive and tired. Now the first thing I do after I’m back home is change into my loungewear and feel better than ever. I’d also add unpacking here and preparing the bag for the next school day not to have to do it in the morning.
02. After that I either make myself healthy lunch, or at times when my mom is home
I’m lucky to have the lunch ready, waiting for me. It will usually be salmon with baked veggies, pasta, veggie packed tortilla wraps, or a buddha bowl. I eat a decent lunch and then a small dinner, but never huge portions, because I just feel bad. Do you pay attention to what signals your body sends your way?
03. Studying and getting homework and assignments done. I’ll also write the assigned tasks and any upcoming tests to my calendar to make sure I don’t lose the track of what I’m doing, what is already done and what deadlines are coming up. Depending on the day I’ll take either more or less breaks, but overall for every 1,5h of studying I make 15 to 20 minute breaks to cool down and let my eyes and brain rest.
04. My favorite, the daily movement which for me is usually going to the gym! I love going to the gym, it makes me feel incredibly fresh and cleansed after a sesh. I prefer to go in the mornings, but it’s only possible during the weekends, so I use my afternoons to move during the work week. Sometimes there isn’t enough time for me to get there if I have too much studying to do, or some extracurricular activities, when I teach yoga, or when I’m just too tired, but I try to go as often as I can and it truly makes a huge difference. Moving your body incredibly improves studying and soaking information in, interested? Check out my yoga offerings!
05. Taking a shower and doing skincare, so really taking time to pamper myself. I love to feel clean and glossy when I go to bed, so it’s a big one for me. I love exfoliating my skin, or adding some natural essential oils to the bath. I usually make this time quite ritual – like, lighting up candles, turning off my phone and unwinding to truly feel my body melt into the presence and wellbeing. I treat it as a reward after a hard day, but really it’s something normal to do and take care of yourself.
06. Eat something light for dinner and drink warm tea. I’ll usually go with a whole grain avocado feta toast, tortilla with turkey, lettuce and pickle, homemade roasted veggies, or for fall – my favorite homemade roasted butternut squash & carrot coconut cream soup. I used to be vegan, but my body needed more variety of foods, so I gave that up and decided to listen to what my body needs. Now I eat mainly plant based, but I do incorporate eggs, some cheeses and fish to my diet, occasionally adding meat, but only turkey, chicken and very rarely beef. I usually stop eating around 2h before going to bed to digest everything well, so this isn’t the best order, but I do drink tea right before falling asleep, it makes me feel cozy and safe.
07. I’ll message my best friend that lives in a different country to „spill some tea” and catch up, read a good book, or if I have an exam the next day, or any time soon – revise a bit before falling asleep. I always put my revision notes under my pillow, believing it will bring me luck!
That’s it! A very usual, yet romanticised fall semester day itinerary that doesn’t have to be boring, or scary. Our life is mostly made up of normal moments, the usual ones, so making sure we really make them meaningful is super important to living intentionally. Excitement is awesome, but those chill evenings with hot chocolate, or moments of doing nothing and resting are amazing too! Fall is the season for that, for letting yourself slow down after the full of thrill summer and truly soaking in moments of gratitude. I am strongly encouraging you to try romanticizing this fall’s semester and see the magic happen. Mwah!
Do not procrastinate, it creates so much stress and unnecessary tension. Do your assignments on time, best before and ideally after they’ve been assigned. That way you not only better remember the topic so it’s easier to finish the task, but you’re also saving the next days from it. Carrying the feeling that you still have something you must do is very exhausting and makes rest not so pleasurable, so trust me when I say it’s best to not put away your tasks.
Prepare healthy snacks to take to school such as a few squares of dark chocolate that provide you with magnesium, nuts that contain healthy fats, or dried fruits to munch on. This way you’re more sustainable, healthy and you save the time you’d take buying store bought snacks.
You don’t always have to be with others. It is a big one I’ve learnt throughout the last years. I’ve always been afraid of entering the cantine and eating alone, or staying in the class and reading my book and now I appreciate these moments so much. I am not big on drama, or gossiping and I try to stay out of it whenever I can so I use these moments quite often. Also when I’m tired, or want to focus and it’s totally okay, just be yourself and be proud of that! If you want to talk to people, go ahead and do it! Trust me, no-one really thinks about you these negative thoughts you think about – they’re busy with other things and personally – I’d be excited if someone came up to talk to me! Rule number 1 : aways be confident.