Whether you're still in school or on the full-time work grind, it's getting to that point in the year where things start to get crazy. Espresso seems necessary for survival (pumpkin spiced or not, we don't discriminate here) and the days (that never seem to have enough time in them to begin with) get shorter and shorter. I am totally an autumn kind of girl, but I truly hate how early the sun starts to set towards the end of the year. If the sun is down, let's be real: I want to be curled up in stretchy pants (or none at all) watching Broad City and drinking La Croix.
But when the sun has set by 6 pm, that's not even close to possible. I'm likely still sitting in class, with a 45-minute bus commute ahead of me. It's all a vicious cycle, and I find I'm constantly reminding myself how lucky I am to even have a warm bed! (And stretchy pants, and Netflix, and La Croix.) It's so important to remain thankful, and to take the time to really take care of ourselves. Here are a few things I've been doing for myself, both small and big, which have made my days a little simpler, a little brighter and a little more "for myself."
5. Pack Snacks & Treat Ya'self
If you're like me, out of the door before 9 and not home until at least 6, that's a lot of time to not have all my favorite snacks at my disposal. That's why I load my lunch bag up with ALLL the snack options. If you don't keep your blood sugar up, you're bound to get cranky - or buy an unsatisfying and totally processed snack from Starbucks somewhere along the way.
4. Take A Bubble Bath
I feel like this one gets recommended all the time - but it's true. Taking a bath improves blood circulation, helps you fall asleep, reduces headaches and just plain feels good. A cup of tea, some Dr. Teal's and time to re-watch Gilmore Girls? I'm in there like swimwear.
3. Try Something That Scares You
Although I study comedy at school and take improv classes as part of my major, this past summer I started taking extra improvisation classes outside of my college just to help make sure I'm getting the most out of living in such an important city for comedy. When I signed up for the class, I expected to be among the same college-aged kinds of people I'm in classes with at school. I was so surprised! The class was only a couple college kids, totally outnumbered by people with actual jobs and actual adult lives just trying improv because they needed something new or wanted to do something they were scared of. Scare yourself shitless, and you might just surprise yourself.
2. Get Lost in Your Own City
Explore! Don't wait for the friends in your group message to get it together and pick a day to hang out. Just go by yourself! Do you! My first few weeks in Chicago, I had such a hard time making friends - and the friends I did have had no interest in really exploring with me. I couldn't believe it! Helllllloooo, we all just moved to this crazy beautiful city and no one wants to go to the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM with me?! So finally, I said F it, and did it all myself. I found a list online of the best donut spots in Chi and set out for adventure. The mouth watering photo above is a direct result of my willingness to get up and get out there. I got lost a couple times (in true Aria fashion) but learned so much about my new stomping grounds (and maybe even a little about myself). I also learned, most importantly, that this place absolutely has the best artisan donut variety of any major city. 😌🍩
1. Listen to Your Gut
This could be the most important thing you can ever do for yourself. Listen to yourself - whether it's about moving away from the creep giving you the heebie geebz on the bus, or putting to rest your relentless attempts at fixing a friendship that might just need to be let go of. Remember who the fr*ck you are, and what you truly deserve. Negative energy is a real thing - a real thing that nobody has time for.