22. How to Stay Calm During Finals Season

It’s almost the end of finals season for some, or it has recently ended for others. It’s undeniable that I struggle to cope with large amounts of deadlines (I had eight to contend with) but with some attention to stressors, it’s possible to get through that. These tips are coming from the mindset of someone with mental health problems, but I hope they will help you all.

Finals

How To Stay Calm During Finals Season (And Come Out Unscathed)

  1. Recognise your stressors: We all know within ourselves (or are getting to know) what brings us stress. In my case, it’s having lots of tasks to complete around the same time and not having an approach to getting them done. I need order and structure in my working life in order to stay calm, from making detailed plans for assignments to making general plans of what tasks to do first.
  2. Make listing your friend: Anyone that knows me knows I love to make lists. It feels like I’ve accomplished something as I tick off what has been achieved. Moreover, it’s a clear way of knowing both where you’re at and where you’re going.
  3. Map it out: On the course that I study, we have to write a lot of essays. While it’s true in the British education system that we write larger essays from GCSEs onwards, I’m certainly feeling it now that I’m on a writing degree! One way that you can get through that is to create mind maps for these essays. A way of doing this is to organise them into a ‘road map’ or ‘clock’, with each point relating to a point on the clock face. This helps me visualise the order of my essay as if each point were a puzzle piece, in that a final result can be met in this way.
  4. Be selfish: Sounds harsh, right? But it’s absolutely necessary for the sake of your wellbeing. By being selfish, I mean focus on the self more. Focus on what you need to be at your optimum health; be it eating better, drinking more water, staying active through physical activity or meditation for the mind, you have to do what’s best for you. It will be a struggle to get through all of the deadlines and exams without being selfish some of the time, so take this opportunity to look after yourself!
  5. Limit how much you do each day: This is something I’ve been trying to do more when I have impending deadlines, as I am the type to work until I physically have nothing left to give. If you have a big task, find a way to break it down into manageable chunks, and complete a chunk (or two) each day. By doing this, your tasks become much more realistic and achievable as opposed to being overwhelming. In addition, it reduces the chances of becoming stressed by having smaller targets to reach each day.

Where does all of this leave me?

I need to take some of these steps to heart, that much is true! Now that I’m writing these steps after my deadlines, I know that I will need to heed my own advice in the future if I want to remain calm and do well in my studies.

It’s not easy managing deadlines, but with a little management and taking the time to recognise your limits it can be done.

20. 20 Facts About Me

Hello and welcome to my 20th post! Today I’d like to tell you twenty facts about myself, as I realise that I have revealed very little about my identity so far. I hope you enjoy getting to know me a bit better!

Facts

Facts:

  1. I’m a Scorpio and born in the year of the Dog
  2. According to the Myer-Briggs test, I’m an INFJ
  3. I avoid nuts and dairy due to allergies
  4. I’m a picky eater to say the least…
  5. I dislike eating berries
  6. I love eating bananas (hence the name of this blog!)
  7. I love nature, especially forests and the sea
  8. I have an understanding of seven languages: English, Patois, French, Chinese, Korean, Swedish & Spanish
  9. I like making things; currently that involves building Lego kits
  10. I have a habit of collecting things, especially if I’m really interested in it
  11. As a child I had around 1000 books in my room
  12. I love martial arts and do taekwondo
  13. I have five tattoos (soon to be six!)
  14. I’m an only child
  15. I love writing poetry as well as stories for young children
  16. (According to one of my best friends): I’m a hugger 🙂
  17. I love cooking/baking and want to write a cookbook one day
  18. I don’t watch films!
  19. I can binge watch documentaries if I’m really interested in the subject
  20. I have Dyspraxia & ADHD, along with depression

That’s all I could think of for now; I hope that has informed you a tad more about me and why I write about certain focal topics! What are some facts about you that I would want to know?

18. Why Try Vegan?

Gluten

Hello all!

In light of my last post on ethics, I thought I’d discuss more of the documentaries that I’ve watched. In addition I will look at what impact they’ve had on my outlook and diet. The majority of the documentaries once again push towards the vegan diet. Having said that, one documentary looking at the paleo diet which is also popular amongst the health community.

Forks Over Knives

Forks Over Knives: Vegan

So many vegans recommend this documentary across YouTube. I worried that it would be another video filled with animal suffering, as I find it difficult to watch. However it was a pleasant surprise to see so much scientific evidence in the documentary instead. The film follows Doctor Esselstyn and Doctor Campbell throughout their lives, leading up to the discovery of a plant based diet in their research. According to much of Doctor Campbell’s results from studies in both the Philippines and China, those who ate more plant based diets were less likely to develop cancer, whilst those who were more affluent would become sicker with time. Now this isn’t to say that wealth equates to poor health. In fact many could argue the opposite (myself included!) In these countries the wealthier could afford to consume more meat, which is what in turn lead to their decline in health.

All of this information can be found in greater depth in Campbell’s book The China Study, listed below:

Cowspiracy

Cowspiracy
Ah, Cowspiracy. Another film that I feared would show animal cruelty footage, but instead was limited to a couple of scenes. It made me jump hearing the knife chop off the duck’s head, but these things typically make me feel afraid. The documentary looked at the cause of our environmental destruction and the involvement of agriculture within that. It was interesting to hear about what green companies are/aren’t doing for the planet, as I thought they were the key players in making change happen. Moreover, it made me think back to something that I said in my last post: “If I don’t have it in me to kill an animal for food, then why on earth am I consuming it?”

Love Paleo

Paleo
Love Paleo can be found on Amazon (link below) and is available to prime users to watch. It’s main focus in the beginning is on people who are facing dietary discomforts, with particular attention to coeliacs. I admit that my body doesn’t process white bread particularly well, but does everyone need to exclude gluten from their diet? I’m not convinced. In spite of that I’ve been very interested in the paleo diet this year, so to find a documentary on it was a welcome surprise!

It also spoke of reintroducing saturated fat into the diet, along with using all cuts of meat. Recently if I were to buy meat for omnivorous family members I’d stick to leaner cuts, and the thought of trying the foot or nose makes me feel physically sick. Along with a love of rice and beans, I’m no longer as sure that the paleo diet would work for me, as I wouldn’t want to remove them from my diet.

Products from Amazon.co.uk

So, why try vegan?

Try vegan because it’s an ethical way of living. Consider trying vegan because the animals have thoughts and feelings just like us, and I’m sure they don’t appreciate being killed in the way they are.  Even if I can convince one person to give it a try, I’ll be satisfied.

I’m not sure how it would work for me considering my nut allergy and dislike for avocado, thus limiting my source of healthy fats. Thankfully there is coconut, which I adore! Unlike when I tried to go vegan as a teenager, I’m better educated on the nutritional needs of the human body and will try to maintain that to stay healthy. Furthermore I will be taking it slowly in transitioning from an omnivorous diet to a vegan diet, as I don’t wish to shock the body. This will involve at least two plant based main meals per day, leading into the main three meals and two snacks being plant based. I hope to do this over the course of two months.

P.S. I’ve left Earthlings out of this to avoid making it way too long!

Wish me luck!

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