How to reduce anxiety INSTANTLY (this is my fave tool ever)!

I felt anxious all the time in college. During meals, walking on campus, during class, socializing with friends, going to sleep, waking up-I was always caught up in my anxious thoughts. I was stressed out all the time and as a result, didn’t produce the best work possible, didn’t have much fun, and was just…not that happy.

I know you can relate.

Well! Today you’re going to learn a super simple, FREE, fun tool to help you calm down, get your work done, and feel happy:

Use a mantra.

I know, I know, I talk about mantras a lot. But that’s because they’re bomb. Here’s why:

Mantras are private. You can say your mantra aloud, whisper it to yourself, or think it in your mind. Super covert. Nobody will know that you’re using one; they’ll just notice how calm, productive, and happy you are.

Mantras are portable. You can take your mantra wherever you go-on campus, in class, at work, while falling asleep, getting ready for the day, traveling, ANYWHERE. Whenever and wherever you need to calm down and feel more peace, your mantra will be there for you.

Mantras are simple, but pack a punch. Using a mantra doesn’t require anything fancy or involved. It just requires a few seconds of focus while maybe taking a deep breath or two. But as soon as you use your mantra, you’ll feel an instant lift. You’ll feel relief right away.

Here are some of my favorite mantras to get you started.

  • The person next to me isn’t attainable. Only my best self is attainable. (Here’s what this means to me).
  • I love my food; my food loves me. From Gabrielle Bernstein.
  • I love my job/workload/classmates/exams; my job/workload/classmates/exams love me. (A variation on the above mantra).
  • I am present.
  • There is a way through every block. From Gabby.
  • I am being guided.
  • Peace begins with me. From Gabby.
  • I am safe.
  • There is no “normal.” From Amanda Holstein.
  • Nothing is permanent. From Amanda Holstein.

Pick one and use it today! Whenever you feel anxious, overwhelmed, or obsessive about something, take a deep breath and say your mantra to yourself. You WILL feel better.

9 ways to become a Happy College Girl RIGHT NOW

If you’re looking for quick ways to feel happy and peaceful in college, I’ve got you covered. The following list contains some of my favorite (and most effective) ways to improve my mood and increase productivity INSTANTLY. You’re a busy college woman. You want to feel good and be productive NOW. Here’s how to get there, sister:

  1. Do something nice for someone else. One of the most powerful ways to get out of the headlock of our thoughts/fears is to serve others. Take a stack of Post-it’s to school with you. Write an anonymous, positive message on a Post-it and stick it in a public place, like on the mirror of a bathroom. Plaster your campus facilities with loving messages; they can turn around someone’s whole day…and it makes you feel powerful. Check out Operation Beautiful here.
  2. Clean your room. Set a timer for five minutes. Pick up clothes off of the floor. Straighten piles of paper. Wash/dispose of dishes. What can you do in five minutes to make your room look and feel calmer?
  3. Write a note to someone you love. Kick it old school here. Get out a note card (or just a piece of paper) and a pen. Tell your best friend who goes to another school, your mom, your grandparents, a former teacher/professor that you just want to say hi and why they are special to you. This is a perfect time to crank out that thank-you note that your mom keeps telling you to send to your great aunt.
  4. Paint your nails. Pick a color that makes you feel excited, sexy, feminine, etc. Like this:Red Nails
  5. Put food on your face. DIY facemasks are fun, cheap, and effective. Try this one: Take 1-2 tbsp. of full/low-fat Greek yogurt. Smear yogurt on your face. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. While waiting, take selfies, listen to music, and just chill. Gently wipe off yogurt with warm washcloth. Admire your bright, smooth skin in the mirror. Check out these facemasks too!Photo on 2014-03-23 at 22.31 #2
  6. Get your freak on. Dance parties are medicine. Close your bedroom door and crank up them jams. These songs are really working for me right now: If you can’t get privacy to have your own dance party, have one with a friend, or take brisk walk around campus with your jams pumping in your ears. Dance to these songs right now.
  7. Make a DAILY To Do list. We have so much sh*t to do every day. Instead of slogging your way through one master To Do list that never actually ends, just make a list of the tasks that must and can get in one day. Your To Do list won’t seem as daunting, which makes getting up and starting your day a little easier.
  8. Get informed. Do you know what’s going on in the world? Your state? Your school? As students, it’s easy for our worlds to become very insular-the stress of college life make it hard for us to think about anything else but class, projects, work, etc. But when we engage in conversations about international, national, and state affairs, we feel more connected to a world outside of our college lives. Check out The Skimm! Two cool women write this FREE daily newsletter in a way we can actually understand. You’ll feel smarter, more cultured, and more connected to others.
  9. Meditate. Meditation instantly slows your thoughts, helping you to feel more relaxed and clear-minded. All you need to do is sit in a chair or on your bed (or on the toilet in the bathroom if you can’t get privacy elsewhere) and breathe through your nose and out your mouth. If your mind wanders, that’s okay! Just try to bring your thoughts back to your breath. Meditate for two minutes in the morning and two minutes at night.

The next time you feel overwhelmed, stressed out, or disconnected from yourself, do something on this list. I promise you’ll feel a jolt of happiness and peace.

 Which ones are you most excited to try? Tell meeeee!

Made a pie with my baking idol

A few weeks ago, I met my baking idol, Joy the Baker (check her out, yo). It was a brush with fame for me, on the real.

Rolling pie crust with Joy

Remember when I told you to do small things to help you move forward when you feel anxious? Well, making pie is one of them! And cookies. Baking silences my anxious thoughts because it gives me something tangible to focus on, to complete.

Recipes literally tell you what to do. Ah, what a relief, right? When you’re so freaked out about what to do next in life that getting through the day feels like torture, a recipe that gives you steps, measurements, and instructions is so welcome. Plus, you can share your baked goods with your friends and everyone will love you and tell you how awesome you are (which you are), an excellent way to shift out of that anxiety.

Along with Joy the Baker, another awesome food blog is authored by an actual college girl! Emily is the girl behind Not Your Average College Food (ummm she’s been feautred on NPR, nbd) and she was part of The Happy College Girl Summit. She rocks.

When you need to get out of your head, take a break from all of the stuff that’s making you anxious, and still feel productive, try baking something. Then share it with friends. This can only help, college girls!

Also…tell your anxious thoughts to GET OFF MY JOCK.

Sarah and Joy get off my jock