4 Tips For Winning The Battle Against Your Post-Grad Blues

CollegeGrads

Post-grad blues are no joke. While not everyone is affected by these feelings of sadness once they walk across that stage, many people are. I know when I graduated I got my degree and said “now what?” while I waited to go back to school. Those first 6 months or so were really rough and I felt depressed more often than not. In today’s post I’m suggesting some things that helped me get through the trying times of  battling with post-grad blues.

Wake-Up and Say Those Affirmations!

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The post-grad blues period after graduating can definitely get you down (they don’t call it post-grad blues for nothin’). One way I battled this overwhelming sense of emptiness and lack of purpose was through repeating affirmations to myself every morning when I woke up. While each person has to determine what they want out of life to come up with their own, I think the ones I used during this rough time are definitely a good place to start. Here are a few of the many affirmations I told myself during my time being unemployed. Some of these I still use now! I found these at this article here.

  1. My body is healthy, my mind is brilliant, my soul is tranquil.
  2. I am at peace with all that has happened, is happening, and will happen.
  3. I deserve to be employed and paid well for my time, efforts, and ideas. Each day, I am closer to finding the perfect job for me.

Start with these and even tweak them to your style if you want. All that matters is you remind yourself that you are deserving and destined for greatness!

Journal About Your Feelings Towards Being Graduated (and your feelings in general)

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For people like myself, it is easy to start feeling down when you are trying to find employment or have too much free time on your hands after graduating. One thing I have made more of a consistent habit is journaling. I try* process all my feelings by journaling at least 3 times a week. When I was unemployed I wrote about how being unemployed made me feel (leave out nothing…even the feelings of worthlessness and sadness). I’ve vented my frustrations and promised myself that I will never take being employed for granted again. While it is usual to complain about one’s job (unless it’s your dream job, which mine is being an attorney so I’m a long ways off), to be ungrateful for one’s job is not good for the soul. In cases where your boss is a jerk it’s different but at the same time, I have always hated being unemployed more than having a job I hate (blame my materialistic desires and FOMO). I hope to look back on my unemployment entries of journal should I ever start hating my jobs (hopefully I won’t).

Find a New Hobby or Invest Time in an Old One

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Whether you’ve always loved painting but college got in the way, or you want to learn how to dance salsa, or anything in between you have plenty of time to do it in your down time on the post-grad job search. One thing I started doing again while I was unemployed is reading. One of my goals this year is to read two books a month and it hasn’t been hard thus far considering I didn’t have really anything better to do. Another hobby I dedicated more time to while I was unemployed was blogging. It felt good to be doing things I wanted to do in undergrad that I simply didn’t have the time to do.

Get Off Your Ass and Get Active

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Seriously! This one is a good morale booster. Whether I was dancing, working out, going for a walk, jog, or run, dedicating time to working out wasn’t something I did until towards the end of my unemployment and I wish I had a started sooner. Not only do you have time to figure out what kind of workouts you love, you can find a purpose in setting non-work related goals. One of my goals when I was employed was to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. This doesn’t sound like a lot but there would be days when I was unemployed where I sat around ALL day and barely clocked in 2,000 steps, YIKES! If you’re currently unemployed it doesn’t mean you have to sit around all day and become a sloth (I was guilty of this for a while).

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The post-grad “Damn I don’t have a job” depression is real and it can take over your mind, body, and spirit if you let it. Even if you are employed, being out of school after being in school your whole life is a rough transition for me. I have suffered from the deepest of post-grad blues and it is not pretty. Even if you are employed there are times where you can find yourself missing being in undergrad and carefree. The key to surviving this turbulent transition in life is to happen to it instead of allowing it to happen to you. If you already have a job it can be even easier to get caught up in the motions and find yourself still battling those post-grad blues. Find balance between keeping yourself busy and doing things you love. When you’re unemployed, finding things to occupy your time during your job search (and make sure you are ACTIVELY searching) will make the time in between graduation and being unemployed fly by.  You may even walk away from it being more enlightened, educated, and experienced person than the day you got your degree. If you don’t have a job or haven’t taken steps towards career yet, don’t beat yourself up about it. These things take time and there is always a lesson in the struggle! ALWAYS.

(Author’s Note: If you think you suffer from depression or any other mental illness, contact a professional for help. These tips will not cure depression.)

Don’t Look No Farther…Baby I’m Back.

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Wow it has been quite a while since I was able to sit down and write out a blog post. I actually can’t even tell you the last time I wrote a blog post. So much has happened since whenever that was. Actually…not really. Law school basically took over my life, which is why I haven’t been able to keep up with blogging. On the bright side, I finished my FIRST YEAR OF LAW SCHOOL and I survived it haha. I will definitely have more content related to that as the beginning of this NEXT school year inches closer. NOW that its summer break and I will actually have free time, I will be back to posting at least once a week. I don’t wanna make any large promises and jinx myself. Truth is, I’ve missed blogging so much and I’m excited to get back to it. I’m really hoping to consistently post this summer and get in the habit so it’s easier this next school year. Lately I’ve been feeling like a fraud by having “lifestyle blogger” in my Instagram bio. There are some other things I have up my sleeve but I want them to be surprise and don’t want to share too much too soon. The point is The Musings of Mara is back so get excited y’all.

A Guide To Alcohol-Free Fun For Twentysomethings

The other day I was talking to some of my friends and one of them said something that has been stuck in my mind. She said “I need to find hobbies or things to do that don’t involve alcohol.” Ironically enough, this was after we had spent the day at a bottomless mimosa brunch and we’re getting ready to start pre-gaming to go out, but she had a point. I realized that many millennial and generation Z-ers, myself included, usually socialize when there is something involving alcohol. Well, as I dive further into my health + fitness journey, only socializing with my friends if we are drinking doesn’t really align with my current goals. This inspired me to write this post about activities we can do that don’t involve alcohol.

Host a Breakfast Party

Just think, brunch, without the mimosas (or the overpriced french toast). While, in my humble opinion, mimosas may or may not be the best part of brunch for some, breakfast food is also a star on it’s own. On NYE some friends and I cooked our own brunch (and added mimosas) and then sat down and talked about our goals for the New Year and other things. It was honestly so much better than trying to have conversation at a crowded brunch restaurant trying to see how many you can drink in the two hour limit. Even without the mimosas, I’m sure it would have been fun to have the breakfast without mimosas. Each friend can be assigned a dish (the friends who can’t cook can cut up fruit or something) and then you can enjoy the meal you all helped contribute to. This can also apply to lunch or dinner if breakfast is not your thing.

Get Active

Whether it’s going on a hike, snowboarding, taking a group fitness class, or even a pole dancing class, participating in exercise with your friends can be so fun, especially if it’s activity you or your friends have never participated in before (these make for the best stories). I especially enjoy hiking with other people because you usually don’t have service on mountains and allows your friend group to have great unplugged conversations about everything in life.

Channel Your Inner Artist (or crafter)

One of the things I missed about being in undergrad with my sorority sisters is the many arts and crafts nights we had whenever recruitment or some other equally important event was around the corner. A good way to hang out with your friends sans alcohol is letting your creative juices flow. Whether it be a vision board party, paint night, or whatever else, arts and crafts bring people together. If it’s one of the holidays you can also incorporate that into your night in with friends. Halloween? Carve or paint (my personal fave of the two options) pumpkins. Celebrate Christmas? Have a Gingerbread house decorating contest.

Go Volunteer

Giving back to your community is a great way to build friendships and feel good about yourself. Instead of having a hangover, you will feel happy that you helped a greater cause. Some ideas are soup kitchens, pet shelters, or even helping set up a 5K. Google community service opportunities in your city for more fun ideas.

I’m sure there are many other things you can do with your friends and without alcohol. My friends personally love to go out to eat together but I wasn’t going to list that because it’s probably the most common thing friends do besides going out to drink. Go out (or stay in) with your friends and get started on these activities. I’m sure you’ll have a blast!

Is there something you do with your friends that doesn’t involve alcohol that I didn’t list here? Let me know in the comments! I’m always open for more activities to do.

9 Things I Want To Do Before 2019 Ends

I have a confession to make. I’m a list making addict. If you’ve been following my blog for a while this comes as no surprise but I thought I’d give a heads up to the new readers or whoever has stumbled across this post. One of my favorite types of lists to make is my annual bucketlists. Each year I pick a certain amount of things I want to do/try/experience before the year is over. This year is no different. Some of these things are leftover from last year’s bucketlist and others are from sheer curiosity or wanting to challenge myself to something new.

Here’s my 2019 Bucketlist:

  1. Run an entire 5K without stopping to walk
  2. Have a photo-shoot at 7 Magic Mountains
  3. Try 5 new Vegan restaurants
  4. Travel to a city I’ve never been to before
  5. Go to a Soul Cycle class
  6. Hike a new trail (or 3)
  7. Find a cute coffee shop to study/write in
  8. Become 50% fluent in Spanish on Duolingo
  9. Stay in a cabin with a fire place somewhere snowy

I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to last year due to not knowing how to balance all I had going on in life and having no real strategy to achieve everything. This year, I know where I messed up last year and I will plan around that silly mistake. I’m excited to experience all of these things. Hopefully I’ll even be able to blog about some of them too! I’ll definitely keep you all updated.

What’s one thing you have on your bucketlist for this year? Let me know in the comments below!

How To Handle It When Life Is Kicking Your Ass

I don’t know about you all, the last year or so has been quite the year. While many great things have happened, it has also been pretty rough…especially once I went back to school. Don’t get me wrong, I love my law school and my section but law school as a whole is hard as hell. I haven’t been this mentally, emotionally, and spiritually challenged in a long time. For the first time in my life, school is not coming to me easily and this has been a major hit on my ego.

While not everyone is in law school like me, life is still hard for everyone in different ways. In certain points in time it can be outright horrible. This being said, I have gathered some tips for dealing with life when it’s kicking your ass.

Cry

Okay so I don’t know about you, reader…but I love to cry. I try not to cry often but when shit gets too real, I definitely let the tears fall where they may. Sometimes a good cry is necessary to move on from a failure and keep it pushing. While I don’t recommend crying every day if life is rough (probably talk to somebody if you are crying everyday), a good cry every so often is cathartic. So if you feel like life is kicking you around let it out and then do the rest of these steps.

Declutter

I’m one of those people where my room reflects the current state of my life. If my room is a mess, 9/10 my life is also a mess and I need to get it together fast. Sometimes when life is doing me dirty I get a release out of throwing away things that I don’t need and straightening up my room. There is something about cleaning your room that makes you feel (at least for a little bit) that you have your shit together. If life feels like it’s spiraling out of your control, take control of your space to gain a sense of that control back.

Unplug

If anyone is familiar with sulking and scrolling through social media when I feel sad, it’s me. However, in the past few months I’ve noticed that this doesn’t help me feel any better and if anything, it sometimes makes me feel worse. As a blogger/aspiring influencer I do value transparency with my followers when I’m going through a rough time but sometimes the best thing to do is to just let people know life is kicking your ass and that you’re going to take some time to unplug and disappear. I’ve been doing this lately and it is so much better for my emotional health.

Write

Make sure you use a pen and paper to do so. Y’all know I always talking about journaling but writing out your feelings when life gets rough is a good way to process exactly how you are feeling. Once you write about your feelings, you are better able to know how and why you feel the way you do and possibly brainstorm ideas for progress. I personally recommend making journaling a habit so that you can regulate your emotions better. I notice that when I don’t journal regularly, my mood is all over the place.

Exercise

I know I know. Who has time to exercise when life is already kicking your ass? Sounds contradictory I’m sure but it’s not. Exercise gives you endorphins and is also another way you can practice control in an area of your life. You would be surprised how much better you feel even after only 1 hour of exercise. The day I found out I failed my first law school midterm I left anything school related alone and went to 2 separate MixxedFit classes. I felt amazing afterwards and had a clearer head to know what to do moving forward.

Adjust

If what you’re doing isn’t working, adjust some things around to see if something else will work. Life is a complicated thing and sometimes even the most minor adjustments can have a butterfly effect on the quality of our lives. I made some big adjustments to my school and personal schedule to try and achieve the results I wanted for the rest of the year when I felt like life was just messing me up. Sometimes life really is out of our control and nothing we can do will change certain things. In these moments, I recommend just adjusting your mindset. It’s very cliché but often times at least finding one positive aspect of life that we are grateful for will help us in hard times of our lives.

Life can be really hard. The last year or so has be really difficult, personally. However, by doing these things I’ve been able to get myself out of a funk from time to time while life kicking my ass every so often. The main thing to make sure you do is to take time for yourself and relax.

What do you do when life is doing your dirty? Let me know in the comments!

9 Tips For Having A Kickass 2019

We’ve all heard the same old phrase in regards to starting a new year. Many of our friend rush to social media to exclaim “new year, new me!” It’s basically become a running joke on Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook at this point. While many people find this to be ridiculous, I do think new years can serve as a good time to start fresh. I don’t personally believe in “new year, new me” but I can totally get behind “new year, new habits” or at least that what’s I’M trying to incorporate into my 2019. My goal of establishing some new habits for the New Year inspired this post. Here’s my list of what YOU should do to make sure you have a KICK ASS 2019.

Do Something for YOURSELF, Every Day

2019 is the year of making sure we take care of ourselves! No more putting ourselves and our joy in the backseat on the journey of this thing called life. This year I challenge you to make time for yourself every day. Even if it’s only ten minutes of reading a fiction novel you’ve been trying to read for the last few months or five minutes of meditation, take time for YOURSELF. Your year will be so much better if you commit to this one goal.

Express GRATITUDE As Often As Possible

I’m not sure about you but I’m someone who believe that The Universe gives us whatever it is we are focusing on (Law of Attraction anyone?) I noticed that last year I had really good experiences when I made expressing gratitude for the things I had or were going to have. When I focused on what I didn’t have, it left me always needing more. One way I like to express gratitude is telling people that I appreciate something they have done for me. Not only do I get to express gratitude, but they also feel appreciate and sometimes that’s enough to brighten someone’s whole day.

Speak and Write Things Into Existence

The power of our words is powerful. Over the last two years I have been very mindful over not speaking negatively over my life. Not saying that I’m perfect and only say positive things but it is something that I try to practice as often as I can. The strength of the written word is powerful as well. There have been many times I have manifested my wants by speaking them out loud or by writing them over and over in my journal. Pro-Tip: you MUST believe what you are saying is possible and you must do the work as well. Faith without works is dead, okay?!

Practice The Art of Brain-Dumping

If you’re anything like me your brain is like a computer with 20 tabs open all at once. This sometimes makes focusing on one thing during the day impossible and even more impossible at night when my thoughts are free to wander. One way I have cut down the tossing and turning at night as I try to fall asleep while also contemplating what I would have said in that conversation I had three days ago is by brain-dumping. A brain dump is when you have a blank sheet of paper and just write down everything that’s on your mind thus dumping it out of your head and onto the paper. Sometimes this sparks a need to journal but often times just getting it out is helpful and allows me to focus on whatever I was trying to do. By getting in the habit of doing a brain-dump whenever you find yourself struggling to focus, you will be able to be more productive with your thoughts and time.

Take Care of Your Body and Your Skin

Whenever I tell people to take care of their bodies the first thing they think of is working out. While working out is one way to take care of your body, it’s not the only way. One of the most obvious ways is by being mindful of what you eat. I’m not saying you should only eat kale and acai but incorporating more veggies into your diet can’t hurt. Often times taking care of our bodies is the complete opposite of working out and we need more rest or to simply stretch. Your skin covers your entire body so taking care of your skin is important too. If you wear make-up, make sure you take it completely off before bed. Change your sheets and pillow cases often. Drinking water can have some benefits on your skin too, so I’ve heard, which brings me to my next point…

Drink MORE Water

THIS YEAR WE ARE STAYING HYDRATED, PERIOD. If you are one of those people who “doesn’t like water” or doesn’t drink water…please love yourself. Sorry I’m not trying to be judgey but water is an important part of our well-being. Our bodies are mostly made up of water and if you are dehydrated it is impossible for you to being functioning at your highest potential. Yes it’s annoying to have to pee every 20 minutes but once your body gets used to it that won’t happen anymore. Also, drinking more water keeps you from mindlessly snacking sometimes so it’s a double win!

Mind Your Business

My quality of life improved so much when I stopped worrying about wtf other people were doing. I can’t really pin point exactly when that was but it’s the truth. Honestly minding your business can go past not engaging in gossip or whatever else. Minding your business means not comparing yourself to your friends or random strangers on instagram. Comparison is the thief of joy and judging others won’t make you better than them or make you any money, so just don’t do it this year, or ever.

Show Up and Show OUT

Last but certainly not least is SHOW UP AND SHOW OUT. This can have many meanings but when I say this I mean be present when you are doing things. If you go out to dinner with friends, focus your attention on spending time with them in the moment. If you have a job interview be on time and be confident. When you engage in your creative endeavors give it everything you’ve gotten. We are leaving being distracted and uninspired in 2018. Say bye bye to self-doubt and know that you are BOMB all 2019. If you approach your year with this attitude I’m 95% sure your year will be more enjoyable.

Get MORE Sleep

I’m going to keep this one short: you can’t be your best self if you are sleepy or relying on caffeine to function. Similarly to how we need water, our bodies neeeeed a certain amount of sleep to live up to our full potential. Our culture romanticizes “I’ll sleep when I die” type of attitude and honestly that is so bad for us. Get some fucking sleep.

While the New Year can be a great time to start anew and build better habits, keep in mind neither Rome nor Beyoncé were built in a day. Don’t beat yourself up about it if you don’t succeed at adapting these overnight. Practice and consistency are going to be the determining factor of if you can establish these lifelong habits for a better year and hopefully an overall better quality of life.  Now get out there and KICK SOME ASS!

Which of these habits are you looking forward into incorporating into your daily life? Which ones do you already do? Sound off in the comments!

The Best Way to Spend 24 Hours in LA

A month or so ago (for the first time in a while) I decided to leave Vegas and bring in the New Year somewhere else. The first place I thought of was my second home, San Diego, CA. Before I made my way to SD, I decided that I wanted to make a stop in none other than Los Angeles. I had wanted to hike the Hollywood Sign all year and I hadn’t been to LA as an adult for non-sorority related things…ever. I messaged two of my line sisters and told them I was coming and I already had an itinerary in mind. I flew into LAX Friday night, my LS Adriana picked me up (bless her heart), and we went back to her house in Ventura County where we rested until the next day. Our Saturday was going to be full of activities. Here is what I recommend to make the most of a day trip to LA: a hike (or other physical acitivity), brunch, a nap, and a night out in downtown LA.

The first thing on my list of things to do was to take a picture in front of AND hike The Hollywood Sign. Stretch before you start your hike so you don’t pull your groin like I did. Finding the picture I wanted actually took much longer than any of us anticipated, only because I had forgotten the instructions of a Youtube video I watched telling me how to get the perfect picture. Luckily we weren’t too far off and we were able to make it to the actual location. The pictures came out super cute!

After we took these pictures, we kept going on the hike. However, we made wrong turn and came to a dead end. It worked out those because this is where I got my favorite set of pictures from the hike. After convincing my LSs not to abandon the hike for brunch, we finally made it in the right direction of the hike. Make sure you stretch afterwards to prevent injury.

After the hike, we checked into our hotel and made our way to brunch. After I did my research for Bottomless Mimosas for 40 mins the night before, I decided to have the girls and I check out Eat This Cafe. Our wait was very short and we were in the restaurant within 10 mins of getting there. (Pro Tip: go on Yelp and utilize their “wait in line” feature.)

The cafe was much smaller than I imagined but I liked it that way. Sometimes it’s better to have a more intimate setting when you know you’re going to be boozin’ it up with bottomless mimosas and catching up on our lives for the last few months. After we were seated, we looked over the menu and I couldn’t decide what to eat. At brunch, I usually order eggs benedict (my favorite) but I also had a sweet tooth so I compromised. I ordered crab cake eggs benedict and a mini cinnamon roll (really much of a compromise haha) and BOTH were delicious. I also appreciated that our waitress kept refilling our glasses with mimosas. I would definitely come back to Eat This Cafe and try some of their other items! Brunch came to an end and we went to the liquor store to grab some stuff to pregame before we were to go out later that night.

After a much needed nap back at our room, we woke up, showered, and got ready. My best friend Alex drove from Vegas and met us there. She brought us food so that we wouldn’t drink on an empty stomach before going out. Once we were dressed to the nines, fed, and tipsy, we ordered our lyft and headed out. Our next destination was The Continental Club.

I loved The Continental Club! I’m not sure if there was a theme night or what but the DJ was playing late 90s, early 2000s (my favorite type of music at a bar or club). There was an event of some sort so it was really crowded but once I went to the bathroom and collected myself, I got used to it. The drinks were made really well and like I said, the music was great. I’d love to go back another day and see if I feel the same way. I may have drunk a little bit too much because the next morning I had one of the worst hangovers of my mid-20s. Thankfully Alex drove to LA and she just had me in the backseat of her car as we made our way sunny San Diego.

Overall, I enjoyed my day trip to LA. While I do prefer longer trips for the most part, I believe my day trip to LA was perfect. The only thing I wish I could have added was another brunch for the road but being sick the next morning made that impossible. I do want to go back for a longer period of time but I have other cities I’d like to see before I do that.

What’s your favorite city to take a day trip to and what do you like to do there? Leave a comment and let me know!