Compasses have arrows, right?

As my blog title gives away, I have a thing for arrows, and “Compass” was the word for the Daily Prompt yesterday.  The name of my blog was inspired by a quote I found in the middle of my job search struggle:

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It really resonated with me in a way that I don’t think words ever have. Words are powerful, yes, but I never had any stick with me so permanently. Quite literally, since I ended up getting it tattooed on me. But I digress.

A compass is a tool used to tell you which direction to go. But what happens when your arrow is spinning?

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Realistically speaking, a compass probably doesn’t spin uncontrollably unless it’s broken, but hopefully you’re picking up my metaphor. What happens when you have no idea what you want to do, what you should be doing, or what direction to go in? In all aspects of life, this can be frustrating, but when you’re trying to figure out what you want to do as a career for potentially the rest of your life, it can be especially exasperating.

When I’m working with students I try to break it down into more manageable pieces:

What are your interests?

Everyone has something they’re interested in, even if it’s something small. What is something you actually enjoy doing, what do you want to learn more about? This requires you knowing yourself on a deeper level. We all have things we like to do outside of work/school/etc, but would we want to do them every day as a career? Is it even an option? Maybe not. I like to eat tacos, but I can’t really make that into a job.

Which leads me to my second point:

Do Your Research

Once you have some concrete interests nailed down, do some research. Do other people do this as their job? Is this a significant part of another job you haven’t looked into? Will this become obsolete, or does it have a bright outlook career-wise?

By research, I don’t just mean googling and reading different things about it. Reach out to people who are already doing this job or are in this career. This might be a bit out of your comfort zone, but what better place to go than straight to the source! You can get some great insight from someone who has already gone through the process; does it require more school, did they start in another position, is there room to grow, etc.

Be Fearless in the Pursuit of What Sets Your Soul on Fire

This is another one of my favorite quotes. Find that thing that gives you a spark. Find something that makes you happy to get out of bed in the morning. I know we live in a capitalist society, but does that mean we should all be miserable in our careers? Absolutely not. Money is important for practical purposes, but what does it all mean if you hate your life and dread going to work in the morning?

 

Find that thing that makes your arrow stop spinning. And when it does, follow it.

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5 Tips for Self-Care during the Holiday Season!

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Happy December, Word Press!

The year is almost over, and it has been a whirlwind for sure. I wish everyone the happiest and safest of holidays; it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Families come together, people seem to be a bit nicer, everything is glittering with lights and snow..635850389868822025-1775172566_tumblr_mwg3b4ea0t1shbg4mo1_500

 

 

 

 

But I think everyone also knows that you can hit a bit of a rut this time of year. Whether you’re still in school conquering finals, in your job trying to meet deadlines and goals, or just dealing with your own personal stuff, the rush of the end of the year can be overwhelming. This is a time of year that we give to others and spread all the holiday cheer…but what about you? It’s important to still take care of yourself during this wonderful time of year. I’ve done a post about self-care  before, but I’m doing another because it really should be at the top of your priority list.

I know this is a busy time, so here are 5 small things you can do for yourself this holiday season:

  1. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep!

This is always so important, no matter what time of year it is. Not getting enough sleep or enough good sleep can throw off a lot; your immune system, concentration at work or school, and energy levels, just to name a few. Your body and mind both need to recharge after your busy day, so make sure you’re getting adequate sleep!tipsforteensleep-final

2. Make a list!

I am very much a list person, and have found that it really does help to relieve stress about all the things I have to get done. Making a list of things you need to do breaks it down into manageable pieces so it’s just not just a huge garbled mess of stuff whirling around in your brain. This will help you be productive in whatever it is you need to do, but also be more relaxed about it.original_keep_calm_new

What is also great about this, is that when you finish something, you can check it off the list, which is a lot more satisfying than you might think.

3. Take time for yourself

I know this season is all hustle and bustle, making sure we visit with everyone we haven’t seen all year, holiday parties, etc. but it’s important to take a little time for yourself too. If you have too much going on and you need to skip a party or leave early, then do it! Give yourself some breathing room. Sit and enjoy that cup of coffee before you start your day. Get that run in before the busyness starts. Do something for you.

4. Allow yourself to indulge in moderation

I feel like one of the main sources of stress during the holidays for many of us is the fear of over indulgence. All the delicious food and sweet desserts around…I feel like my office has an endless supply of donuts right now.  The thing you have to remember is that you CAN indulge. This is a time of year to enjoy yourself and allow the little indulgences that you otherwise might not let yourself have. However, that doesn’t mean you should eat a whole pie or an entire tray of cookies by yourself. That’s probably not the best idea. You don’t want to indulge so much that you feel like crap after, nobody likes that. Just remember, “All things in moderation.”

5. Allow yourself to enjoy!

You might be stressed about the places you need to go, having family together, hosting that holiday party or dinner…but when it comes down to it, this is a time of year we should all enjoy. There are so many wonderful things to experience, so remember to be present in each moment.

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