How to motivate yourself during the academic year

Hi lovelies,

How are you all keeping?

It honestly feels like I haven’t checked in with all of you, in months!

I’m currently just trying to survive the final four months of my degree, therefore, I have very limited time for writing. However, today I wanted to share three simple ways to motivate yourself during the academic year.

  1. Talk to your friends

Friendships are an integral part of the college experience.

The friends you make in college play a major role in most, if not all, of the college memories you’ll cherish for life.

Although they are great to party with, never forget how relatable they are.

You are all in this academic journey together, therefore, they know more than anyone else, how demotivating, the whole learning process may sometimes be.

College is like a never ending rollercoaster.

There are many highs, but with them, comes just as much lows.

Assignment deadlines are nothing but demotivating – once you finish a task, there’s always another one lingering around the corner. The cycle just never seems to end!

This cycle, often leaves students feeling drained, physically and emotionally, and, as a consequence, doubtful thoughts begin to blossom.

College friends are crucial in times where you may feel this way.

By talking to one another you will soon feel reassured, not alone, hopeful and comforted.

2. Focus on the bigger picture

College is full of endless hurdles, that can sometimes leave you questioning, if you are wasting your time or not. In the process of attaining your degree, you often lose focus of your goals, and although this is very natural, do not allow yourself to lose all hope.

Instead, focus on the bigger picture.

Remind yourself of why you applied to college.

Remind yourself, of the many achievements you wish to accomplish, and never stop striving for what you want! – no matter how hard it may seem at times.

College is a stepping stone to all your future career goals. So give it your best shot!

3. Celebrate little achievements

As mentioned above, college assignments and deadlines are seemingly never-ending.

Therefore, make sure to celebrate yourself, once you’ve completed one.

You deserve to celebrate all the hard work, tears, energy and dedication that you’ve spent whilst completing each task.

By celebrating your achievements, you give yourself, the necessary shot of motivation needed to get to the end.

Staying motivated in college, is imperative to your success.

If you’re anything like me, and sometimes have trouble motivating yourself, try applying these tips to help you stay driven, as you approach graduation.

This college year is almost over, and summer 2020 will soon be in reach, so get yourself motivated, and FAST!

“You don’t want to look back and know you could’ve done better”.

Love, Nyasha x

Albufeira 2019

Hi lovelies,

I’m backkkk!

First of all, my sincere apologies for being inactive on this site recently, but as you all know (from my endless rants on Instagram), I’ve got a degree to get!

So far this academic year has not been the easiest, but I really can’t complain because despite the constant weight on my shoulders, no tears have been shed! But I will get into all of that in another blog post, sometime soon!

Today, however, I’ve decided to come out of my shadow to share the highlights of my trip to Albufeira, Portugal.

One of my childhood friends turned 20 this year, and to mark the occasion, some of her friends and I, decided to embark on a girls trip to celebrate.

We flew from Dublin Airport at 7:40 and arrived at Faro Airport around 10:40.

When we arrived in Faro, we were collected and driven to our accommodation

For the duration of our trip we stayed in the Club Ouratlantico Apartments. These apartments were in walking distance to all local amenities, making it a lot easier for us to explore everything Albufeira had to offer!

DAY ONE – FRIDAY

After a morning full of traveling and very little sleep, we decided to take it easy on ourselves and just wander the streets of Albufeira.

We eventually found ourselves at the beach, Praia dos Alamães. While walking along the beach, we stumbled upon the Beach Spot Restaurant. Despite being confused by the menu at first, we ended up getting lovely food and drinks here for a very reasonable price! The restaurant was situated in such a lovely ‘spot’ on the beach, which offered such a beautiful scenic view, from the upper outdoor terrace.

Later that evening we decided to go and explore the Strip. The ambiance of the Montechoro strip was very lively and friendly. It had so much to offer, from bars to corner shops and everything in between. With every step we took, we encountered hawkers, who did not shy away from sharing their latest enticements.

Our first evening in Albufeira was very random, to say the least. It consisted of karaoke, fish pedicures and a miniature pig we all will never forget! But like they say,

“The best memories are usually unplanned, random and spontaneous”.

DAY TWO – SATURDAY

Breakfast was definitely my favourite meal during this holiday. We got breakfast in Urban Pizza on the Saturday and Sunday because it was just that good!

The freshly squeezed orange juice was exactly what we all needed to start our one and only full day in Portugal.

On Saturday we headed to Aquashow in Quarteira. We bought our tickets at a local shop on our way to the aqua park because the vendors sell them at a cheaper rate. The tickets were €26.10 per person. This ticket gave us free access to all rides in the park.

The first ride we went on together was the water rollercoaster. I was genuinely so surprised at how much I enjoyed this ride considering I have a fear of heights and drowning. The park is designed with everyone in mind, so even if I wasn’t feeling as brave as I did, I could have had just as much fun on rides that didn’t involve speed, heights or water.

That evening after a good rest, we decided to get dressed up and head back to the strip for our final evening in Albufeira.

Dinner was then, followed by strolls down the strip and an ice-cream date.

We were travelling back to Dublin on Sunday evening, so we all woke up extremely nostalgic. The trip had just gone by so so fast! We had such a fabulous time in Albufeira, and enjoyed everything little thing it had to offer.

Here’s to more adventures in 2020!

Love, Nyasha x

Why prioritizing yourself, is the best decision you’ll ever make

Hi lovelies,

How are you all keeping?

Before I dive into today’s blog post, I just want to apologize for the lack of content on this blog lately. The reality is that, college has finally decided to take its preeminence in my life again. Deadlines are beginning to pile up on me, and as a result, for the time being, I have no other choice but to prioritize my education, meaning content on the blog will now be limited to when I can, instead of on a weekly basis.

I am not saying goodbye, but I am just giving each of you a heads up, not to be expecting a weekly blog post as I was previously accustomed to. Instead I will try pop on as often as I can, with as much advice, updates and positive energy, as possible!

For the time being, I just want to say thank you for the continuous support that each of you have given me since starting – I honestly feel like I can never say it enough.

For all the shares, comments, words of encouragement and for simply taking the time to read what I put out. Thank you!

Anyways… enough of the soppy stuff. Let’s get into the topic, of today’s blog post;

Why prioritizing yourself, is the best decision you’ll ever make.

Growing up, I was always that child who would drop everything and anything to be there for the people around me.

I have a very giving personality and I never really knew my limit. I would bend backwards for people who would rarely do the same for me.

As I went through my teenage years, I quickly identified this trait and how detrimental it was becoming for me. I was beginning to feel exhausted, frustrated and even angry when I would not receive the same energy I would consistently give out.

I would question my self worth, identity, friendships and life itself. All because I had convinced myself that I loved being a giver. That I am someone everyone should be able to count on, when they are in need.

From a young age we are all taught that giving is the best way to show kindness.

We are all guilty at chorusing the idea that ‘sharing is caring’ – but never explaining to what extent. No wonder why it becomes so easy for some of us to get caught up in unhealthy cycles that may begin to take a toil on our health.

When your constantly the one who gives and gives, you risk burning yourself out. Your well, begins to run dry, and as a result you begin to form resentful feelings.

If you relate to ever feeling any of the above emotions because of your tendency to give a little more than is necessary, I want to encourage you to find a balance.

Begin to identify when your giving out of love or when you’re giving out of guilt and negativity.

Unfortunately I can’t tell you exactly how to find this balance for yourself, but what I can share, is how doing so, for myself, has benefited me.

1. I began to value myself

As I mentioned above, over giving caused me to develop negative emotions. It took a significant toil on my self-esteem and made me question my self worth and value. I almost began to feel like it was normal for people to walk all over me. However, once I identified the negative emotions, that stemmed from giving too much. I quickly began to put value on myself.

Now I have learnt to quickly take two steps back, when I feel under appreciated or taken for granted.

I’m not saying that I expect to be thanked or praised when I go out of my way for someone, but if I’m constantly questioning the other individuals intentions, my time will quickly become limited.

2. My giving became much more genuine

If you were to ask me what my favorite characteristic, that I possess is, I would undoubtedly say that it is my giving spirit.

However at one point in time, I found myself giving for all the wrong reasons. I remember feeling guilty and under pressure, to do it all! To give, because it made me look good, or because I felt morally obliged to.

To overcome this, I had to learn to prioritize my own needs, and as a result, I started giving from a cheerful place, once again!

I took care of my own needs, which in turn gave me the energy necessary, to take care of, and put energy that was light, joyful and void of pressure, into others.

3. I began to focus on my own goals

When your a naturally giving person, it is very easy to focus entirely on other individuals, besides yourself.

You begin to focus all your time and energy into them, leaving little to no time for you. You slowly become sidetracked by their life, and slowly begin to divert all attention, away from your own ambitions and plans.

By balancing how much of me, I was giving to people, I began to regain my own zeal for life. I no longer craved that thrill, I got from helping people. I stopped allowing, giving to be the only drive I had in life. I realized I had more to offer!

Prioritizing myself, was and is one of the best decisions I have ever made, because it caused me to develop as an individual. I became an even happier person, because I grew to be content in myself, as opposed to being content in the way others saw me. I started to become (well at least tried…), as invested in myself as I was in others.

To whoever this has resonated with – I beg you to find your balance. Stop feeling guilty. Let go of the pressures of society.

Protect your energy, by prioritizing yourself.

Yes it’s all well and good, to be there for everyone and anyone, but if you can’t even be there for yourself, what good are you?

Reminder; You are allowed to help yourself before you help others.

Love, Nyasha x

The Pressure of Young Success

Hi lovelies,

It’s been less than a week, but it honestly feels like forever since I sat down at my laptop with the intent to blog. I actually miss having all the time in the world for blogging – but now I’m back to routines, time tables and managing college assignments, what a dream!

Whilst getting ready for work, last Sunday I decided to incorporate something new into my morning routine; listening to a podcast! Considering I had a lot of catching up to do, I decided to tune into ‘Stallion’ a podcast hosted by Agnes – Clara Dikoum (available across multiple platforms).

While scrolling through her podcasts, a particular one titled “Pressure of Young Success”, caught my attention. With college back in the works, and graduation 2020 on my mind, the thoughts of success and what to do next, are constantly lingering in my head.

It’s crazy, isn’t it. We go from being children who couldn’t care less about what’s to come, to young people, who desire control in every phase of our lives. If you are anything like me, your mind begins to time travel – and ever so vividly, at that. You begin to imagine yourself 5 years older, financially stable, with a house, car, husband, and a secure job you love. All of which don’t occur overnight but somehow you begin to desire, that this could be your reality.

In May 2018, a survey undertaken by the Mental Health Foundation, found that six out of ten young people, between the ages of 18-24, have felt so stressed by the pressures to succeed, that they began struggling to cope with life’s demands.

Although alarming, these figures don’t even surprise me in the slightest.

In a world that is populated with pressure, not only from your family and friends, but also celebrities, influencers, ‘instagram goals’ and much, much more – it is so hard, not to get sunk into the idea that success occurs over night.

On a daily basis, we are fed unrealistic expectations of what life should consist of, how we should be living, or what stage of life we should be at.

For some of us, our goals are set to be completed by the age of 25 and for others it could be 30.

This mindset however, can be so unrealistic and detrimental for our futures.

I’m not saying you can’t be successful by the age of 30 – Forbes 30 under 30, already argues otherwise. However, it is important to remember that success is not always measured by power, status, fame and/or money.

The word success is described in the Cambridge Dictionary as “the [achievemnet] of … results wanted or hoped for”. These results are not limited to time and can be achieved on the straight or narrow path, depending on the individual and their resources. By staying determined and consistent, and by accepting failures, set backs and obstacles, we each have the ability to come out on top.

Don’t let other people’s definitions of success define you.

“Love the life you have, while you create the life of your dreams”

Love, Nyasha x

Stop underestimating yourself

Hi lovelies,

Before I get into this weeks blogpost, I just want to say my sincere apologies for not posting one last week. I was honestly so exhausted by the time it got to the weekend, and just kept experiencing writing blocks whenever I sat down to write. Thankfully I’m well rested now, the sun is shining and I am feeling super motivated to conquer the week!

Yesterday as I was scrolling through Instagram, I came across a quote that read “Stop underestimating yourself”.

Tomorrow, I start my final year in college – and I’d be lying to you, if I was to say that, I wasn’t feeling worried and overwhelmed. Quite simply, the thoughts of ‘THE THESIS’ scare me! When I think about gathering all the research involved in it, I start to undermine not only my abilities but also myself.

For some reason, in my head I have managed to construct the belief that I am going to walk into my Research Project module and be flung into the deep end with 0 assistance. However, in reality, I know this won’t be the case. I can be rest assured that my lecturers, friends and family will be there every step of the way – to offer guidance, support and encouragement when in need.

This year surely wont be the easiest but I will definitely pull through it.

“Sometimes when you are the closest to your breakthrough the pressure is the greatest. You have come too far to give up now!” – Joyce Meyer

Whether you are starting college, going into your final year, or embarking on a new life venture, do not underestimate yourself.

Believe in your abilities.

Each of us was born with the potential to do great things – but those great things can only come to flourish when we believe.

“You must expect great things of yourself, before you can do them”

Love, Nyasha x

“You will overcome this”

Hi lovelies,

Yes, here I am, actually fulfilling my promise to deliver a second blog post this week. Congratulations to me!

Whilst scrolling through Instagram the other night (as you do), I came across a quote that read “YOU WILL OVERCOME THIS” – and I don’t know whether it was the pink writing the words were displayed on, or the words themselves that resonated with me. But I suddenly felt an undeniable sense of comfort.

I began to think about the post I saw on Instagram, at the start of the week, from an individual who was out for a walk but stumbled upon a teenager who had just received their results – under a tree branch with a rope straddling down, within seconds of taking their own life. I began to think about my family and friends who are going through times where they feel like all hope is gone. I also, began to think about me… and the things that worry me from time to time. The things I think I will never achieve or accomplish.

I then began to think about all the things that I had overcome, such as secondary school, consistent negative thinking, state exams and 2nd year college exams (cause those were a real struggle this year). I began to realize that at one point in time, I also believed that I would never overcome these things… but here I am. These things no longer give me any reason to cry or have anxious thoughts, concerning them.

Today I just wanted to encourage anyone and everyone… including myself, who may be reading this. I wanted to remind you that irrespective of the current tribulation you may be experiencing, YOU WILL OVERCOME! Trust me, I know it’s a lot easier to say when you are not in the moment yourself – but those 4 words hold a lot more truth than you may realize. You will overcome this, no matter what the situation may be. There is hope for you. You are not a failure. You are loved. You will succeed.

Love, Nyasha x

Tips for Settling into College

Hi lovelies,

So after many weeks of promises, I’m finally sitting down to deliver a blog posts that is college related. Firstly, in case I forget to formally say it, I want to wish each of you awaiting results next Tuesday, the best of luck. For those of you, who may be anxiously counting down the hours, just remember that everything will work out, even if it doesn’t seem like it will, at first.

“In the end everything will work out fine. If it doesn’t. It’s not the end”

As discussed in my previous blog post entitled “It’s Not Over… It’s Just The Beginning”, there are various routes with multiple ways, to get to your desired destination, so don’t ever lose faith. For those of you hoping to go into third level education, I have been asked to share some tips on settling into college.

In September I will be going into my final year of studying Early Childhood Education and Care in IT Carlow, Wexford Campus. Upon reflection on my first few weeks of college in first year, I came up with the following four tips for those of you, who will be continuing on into third level education in September.

1. Come Prepared

Unlike secondary school, college is based on self directed learning. Lectures are there to help their students, prior to assignments and exams, but ultimately it is the effort the student makes that will earn them their desired result. That is why it is so important to come to lectures prepared. Always have a notebook and pen at the ready to jot down any terms, or better yet assignment hints that are mentioned in passing.

2. Be open to new experiences, friends and opportunities

Whether you are going to college, university or a post leaving cert, it’s important to be open minded. The truth of the matter is, you are about to experience a whole new journey that you can’t always control. Allow yourself to experience new ideas and thoughts. Allow yourself to make mistakes, recognize them and get back up again. Be confident in you, what you stand for and your beliefs. Although college may seem like the next step after secondary school, it is in fact a whole new experience that will shape you not only as a student, but as a person – so allow yourself to experience that journey wholly.

3. Be organized

As mentioned above, college is all about self directed learning. Take my advice when I say, get a planner or even a notebook where you write all your deadlines in order of importance. College will be a lot easier for you, and those around you, if you stay on top of your assignments and readings. If you were one of them students who would leave their homework till the night or morning before a class, in secondary school, I would strongly advise you, not to carry that habit into college as it will only result in tears (*I’m not even being dramatic*).

4. Prioritize your time

College life has so much to offer – a new routine, new hobbies, new friends and new experiences. You may want to experience everything your college has to offer all at once, but remember to try not to take too much on, as you may risk burning out so early on in the year. Try to prioritize getting into a routine of attending lectures and meeting deadlines before you start taking on too much socializing – aim to strike an equal balance of the two.

In finishing I want to wish each of you, all the best, as the new academic year approaches, whether you are going into first year of college or not. I hope the year brings you joy, success and minimal stress.

Love, Nyasha x

Gratitude.

Hi lovelies,

It honestly feels like I haven’t talked to you all in forever, but I’m back! I hope you are all keeping well and enjoying life and what it has to offer, at the moment. I know I am. This week alone has been such a good one for me.

On Wednesday, I went on a little day trip to Wexford to see my main ‘huns’. The sun didn’t disappoint us, so we used it to our advantage, and went on a little road trip to Forth Mountain Quarry…. where the scenes did not let us down.

I don’t know if seeing the world from an elevated point of view made me develop a strong sense of gratitude, but I certainly found myself feeling much more thankful and appreciative for the people I’m surrounded by, the fact that I have a job, a roof over my head, clothes I can wear and food on my plate – all the things I tend to take for granted every other day.

Gratitude is described as the quality of being thankful and the readiness to show appreciation.

By developing a sense of gratitude, we obtain the ability to disconnect from toxic, negative emotions, increase our happiness, become less materialistic and less likely to experience burn out while developing patience, humility and wisdom. Expressing gratitude not only benefits an individual, but it also benefits their society. Despite the numerous benefits, expressing gratitude has to offer, many of us often fail to show gratitude to those who make a difference in our lives on a daily basis.

We struggle to find the right words to express ourselves and assume that the person we want to appreciate, will feel just as uncomfortable hearing us express our gratitude as we will feel, expressing it. This however, is not the case. When we show our gratitude to others, we make them feel valued and significant. As individuals, we thrive on positive feedback. Being valued and appreciated reinforces a positive sense of self worth.

From today onwards, I am going to make the conscious effort to find one thing I am grateful for, every night before I go to sleep. If it happens to be an individual, I will make sure to show my gratitude to them one way or another, so that they too, know that I value them.

On that note, I would like to say a massive thank you to each of you reading my blog, sending kind messages and interacting with me. It means a lot more than you may realize. If you live in Ireland, I currently have a giveaway running on my Instagram account @niiash_a. Unfortunately it does end tonight, at 23:59, but please do enter up until then, you never know you could be the lucky one.

I definitely hope to do more giveaways in the future, so don’t be disheartened if you missed this one.

You are all making a dream of mine a reality, so I will continue to thank you in any way possible.

“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul” – Amy Colette

Love, Nyasha x

5 Ways to Look After Yourself

Hi lovelies,

Before I dive into today’s post, I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone near and far for all the support and words of encouragement since uploading my first blog post. I am truly grateful.

Today’s blog post is inspired by a conversation I had with one of my close friends last week, where they opened up about not being in a great place at the moment. This is something that each of us can relate to, at various points of our lives, but because of the many demands of life, often we do not attend to ourselves accordingly. Although we often neglect it, self care is crucial. Self care is defined as the actions one takes to attend to their physical, emotional, relational and spiritual well being. I have decided to share five of my go-to things I do when I am not feeling top-notch, that help me recharge and refocus.

1. Pray and Read the Bible

Praying, reading the bible and/or listening to gospel or worship music are things I find very soothing. Whenever I pray about something that is or has been worrying me I suddenly feel at ease concerning the issue that is consuming me. Reading the word, strengthens me if I am feeling weak and reminds me that God’s plans for me are much greater than I can ever imagine. Here are a few verses that encourage me;

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” – Jeremiah 29:11

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6

He has made everything beautiful in its time… -Ecclesiastes 3:11

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus -Philippians 4:6-7

God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day -Psalm 46:5

She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future -Proverbs 31:25

I am with you always -Matthew 28:20

2. Drink Tea

Maybe it’s the ‘Irishness’ in me, but whenever I am stressed I suddenly crave nothing more than a cup of tea. Unfortunately, when I am anxious, the caffeine in tea sets my brain on overdrive which causes me to then overthink. However, a great alternative which still manages to calm my nerves is peppermint tea.

3. Pamper yourself

When I am feeling under the weather there is nothing I value more than my pamper kit (pictured above), which I store in my bed side locker for easy access. Although the application and use of face masks, eye masks and nail polish can often be time consuming, they leave your skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. The aromatic essential oils that are infused in many of these products relax the mind by stimulating your senses.

4. Listen to Music

If you asked me to define music in my own words, I would describe it as a medium that is capable of delivering various emotions to different people. As mentioned previously, gospel/worship music is a personal favorite of mine when I need that extra comfort. However, once I have had my dose of relaxing ‘me’ time, to continue the process of raising my spirits, I usually play my current favourite upbeat jams.

5. Talk to someone

“A problem shared is a problem halved”

A misconception a lot of us have is that, we are suddenly burdens to our loved ones when we share our problems, struggles and/or pain. This however, is not the case. Talking about things that affect you with another person, usually makes the situation seem less daunting and troubling. Just make sure that you are speaking to someone you trust and, that has your best interest at heart, so that you can be reassured that the advice you will get or be given will actually benefit you.

So there you have it, there are the five main things I do when I am not feeling like my best self. We are all wired differently as individuals, so things that work for me might not work for you, but it’s important to find healthy coping mechanisms to overcome lives endless hurdles. If you still haven’t found something that works for you, feel free to try one of mine listed above.

Remember you are never alone.

Love, Nyasha x