Enticing title, right? I thought so. As I type this, I’m just now (it’s 11:41 pm) sitting down and settling in for the night after a long day at school, meetings, and rehearsal.
You high-schoolers think college will be one big party, but let me tell you…school never stops at 2:45. But, I digress.
It’s 11:42 now, on a Tuesday in the midst of “Hell Week.”
I swear I’m not being overly dramatic, guys. It’s actually hell week. A cappella hell week, for my a cappella groupies and I in UPenn’s Counterparts. Fun fact: We’re John Legend’s alma mater group. Even more fun fact: He refuses to hang out with us, but I swear we’re super cool.
Our spring show is this weekend, so we’re in full gear; hell week means everyday rehearsal for 4-6 hours each day.
Since our 8 hour rehearsal on Sunday, I’ve found myself stressed. And by stressed, I mean way beyond stressed to the point of occasional breakdowns and a necessary onslaught of cute kitten pictures and cups of coffee. Actually, I was stressed-and-trying-to-not-have-an-anxiety-attack kinda stressed. But I’m not stressed from singing; just the bajillion and ten other things currently on my plate (none of which are carbs or chocolate – what fun is that? Read: none).
I’m sure we’ve all had those days. Those days when you map out your schedule, down to the minute, and you feel yourself starting to crack if something goes awry. Heaven forbid I didn’t eat my scheduled breakfast of oatmeal and an orange at 8:15 am, my day was just going to be doomed for disaster. (Seriously guys, I scheduled my oatmeal. Who does that?)
Originally, this post was going to let you into the aca-awkward world of college a cappella. We’re basically Pitch Perfect, sans Fat Amy but including mermaid floor dancing and horizontal running (duh).
But then I found myself completely losing my marbles, feeling anxious and in need of a chill pill (by chill pill, I mean wine coffee and chocolate). I was stressing about my body, I was stressing about my relationship, I was stressing about school and work, and I was stressing about stressing.
So instead, I’ve conjured up some quick lists (I toldja I like lists…) to help get you motivated, stress free, in shape and in love.
To conquer stress:
- Stop worrying about the future. Stop mulling over the past. When you live in the present moment, you’ll find there aren’t too many stressors, and bliss is more easily attainable.
- If you’re religious, find a favorite scripture to get you inspired. Otherwise, just search quotes on Pinterest until you find a few that really hit home for you. “You have enough hours in the day as Beyonce” is usually not sufficient.
- Put yourself in Olivia Pope’s shoes. Now you know stress.
- Breathe a lot. It’s good for you.
- Run up and down a flight of steps. Or, like in my case, 24 flights of steps. By the time you get to your actual floor, you’re too tired to remember anything but your burning tush and thighs, and you’ve got a nice almost-runner’s high going on…ahhhhh.
To have flat abs:
- Plank everyday. Start with a 30 second plank and work upwards (Pinterest has ridiculously easy-to-follow guidelines for mastering plank workouts and getting up to 5 minutes on your elbows and toes. Because that sounds like a fun time, doesn’t it?)
- Eat ice cream and carbs. But only in moderation. Train your sweet tooth to crave natural sugars in fruit instead of process sugars in cakes or cookies. Once you’ve reigned in the sweets-craving beast, start to switch over to green smoothies, or lightly dip fruit in semi-sweet chocolate for a more gourmet treat.
- Eat chocolate and drink wine every day. The darker the chocolate and the redder the wine, the better. Otherwise, just stick with ice cream and carbs in moderation.
- Check out these fun ab workouts. Your core is literally the center of your body, so having a strong one is essential to feeling better in life overall! An added bonus: your core is a muscle set that can be worked every day, so take advantage of that for washboards in no time. Ok, a little time, or maybe a lot of time, but either way it’ll be so worth it.
- This is like the quest for the Holy Grail. It’s not easily attainable, but it’s oh-so-rewarding when you do. Just stop stressing about getting flat abs, because stressing gets you nowhere (see above).
To find your lifelong love:
- Refer to this post.
- And then this one.
- Stop trying (seriously). Be yourself, focus on your own dreams and aspirations, and get gutsy.
- Don’t be afraid to say hi first or call first or kiss first (this is the 21st century people).
- Once you’re in love and stressing for one reason or another about your relationship, remember all of the reasons why you’re with that person in the first place. Always keep perspective. And always have “I love you” be the thing to wake up and fall asleep hearing.
- Then, when you think you’ve found “The One,” refer to this one.
If you do all of the above, you’re basically a boss. If you actually want to be a boss (like at work…going all real world here), master the art of the professional email. It’s really an art, and people mess it up far too many times.
Once you do that, start networking with people who you could see being mentors down the road. Otherwise, don’t stress about rising the steps of the career ladder (refer back to How to conquer stress…), do your best work everyday, and stay in the moment.
By no means is each list anywhere near complete…there’s a bajillion and one factors that influence each. But this helped my thoughts this week, so I hope it helps yours too.
If it doesn’t, just resort to retail therapy…that always helps me, too.
As I mentioned above, White Plum hooked me up with a fantastically adorbs tunic, with a studded collar to boot. Check out their just-in arrivals, #ootd, house & home, and clearance sections on shopwhiteplum.com.
Your stress-conquering, abs-molding, love-keeping and boss-being advice is appreciated, so let the comments commence.
AND, the big question…Do you want to get inside the a cappella world?
“Sometimes I have the feeling I can do crystal meth, but then I think, mmmm…better not.” – Fat Amy
Happy hump day, y’all. Stay classy.