Interview Season

This is my second year applying to graduate schools and boy is it tough.  Last year I applied to nine different Doctorate of Physical Therapy programs and I was rejected from all of them.  No worries though, I have realized (in retrospect- as all these types of things tend to be) that it was the best thing that could have happened to me. Over the past year, I have worked as a physical therapy aide, became a yoga teacher, worked as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor and created new relationships that I am extremely grateful for.  I would not be who I am today or where I am today if I had not been rejected last year.  I have learned so much and have accomplished so much this year. Now if you had asked me to talk about this last year around this time I would have had a very different perspective.  The first five rejections were by far the hardest for me. I had a mini breakdown after the 5th one and then realized that whatever is going to happen will happen.  This realization has made the application/rejection process so much easier this year.  I realize that I am where I am supposed to be right now in this moment.  I also know that I cannot predict the future or even plan every detail of the future.  I will end up where I am supposed to be-- wherever that might be.  It might take a few months or years, maybe a few falls and failures but I will be successful one day.

The biggest thing I have learned over the past year is Self-Care.  I have mentioned this multiple times on here, only because it is such a great lesson for one to learn.  If I had gone into a doctorate program last year, who knows what would have happened.  I wouldn't have known how to properly take care of myself. at. all.

With all that said, I have three interviews coming up within the next two weeks (yay!!!) and I have to be on my A game.  Part of being ready for this interviews will be staying in tune with my body and what I need mentally and physically.  The basis of self-care.

Here are my favorite self care tips:

1- Meditate: This is a new habit for me and it is definitely still a work in progress. I try to meditate everyday for at least 5 minutes. To be completely honest, the longest I have been able to spend meditating alone is 6 minutes but I am sitll working on it.  Yes, somedays I forget or don't have the time  but most days I do.  I find my body craves meditation on the crazier, more stressful days.  It is a great way to settle yourself back into your mind and body and be prepared to take on whatever comes next. I use the Insight Timer application on my Iphone in order to time myself (and make sure I don't fall asleep).  I tend to lay down or sit up with my back supported.  I also really enjoy using mantras. I find it helps me focus on my breath more. My favorite is "I inhale love, I exhale fear."

Give it a try! Find a position that feels most comfortable to you, set a time and breathe:)

2- Exercise- 

I always feel better after a workout. If I am stressed out, I feel instantly better. If I am anxious, I feel calm and at peace.  Exercise is the way for me to release any extra pent up energy I have. The best source of exercise to ground me and bring me back to a less stressed place is yoga.  But I encourage you to find your yoga.  I also love weight lifting, running, swimming, and hight intensity workouts.  My new goal is to try out boxing! I tried it once and it was an amazing workout and I felt so badass afterward.

3- Eat Healthy.... but don't restrict yourself.

Your body will feel better if you feed yourself properly.  If you fuel yourself with proper nutrients, your body will operate to its best ability.  At the same time, don't restrict yourself. No one is ever fun or happy or stress free when they are counting every calorie and restricting every single thing they consumer.  I am a firm believer in everything in moderation. So go ahead have that piece of chocolate or piece of cheese.... just don't have a pound of each.

4- Abhyanga

This is a new daily habit I have started after seeing an Ayurvedic consultant. In short, Ayurveda is "the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in the bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment and yogic breathing." (taken from google dictionary). I learned about Ayurveda from my yoga teacher training and decided to see a consultant to learn some more.  Ayurveda is very much the diet and lifestyle behind a yogic lifestyle. Abhyanga is a self care part of Ayurveda. Everyday after I shower, I massage Sesame Oil all over my body (as if I was puttingo on body cream but a bit more massage-esque) and then I jump into the shower to rinse off the excess quick. The self massage feels great and my skin has never been softer.  This can take you anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes (You can also use it as a meditation of sorts). Another way to show yourself a little love!!

There are a bunch other aspects of my life that help me get through "interview season" or any stressful time period in my life but these are the main things I try to do everyday/ Overall, I've learned to listen to my body more and know when to take a step back and take care of me.  I know that I cannot help other if I do not help myself first.  This is a lesson I am so grateful to have learned.

What are your self care tips? Anything I missed?