October started off in a whirlwind. I spent my first weekend of the month holed up in a room with 3 other graduate students (all of us were newly acquainted and from different schools) frantically strategizing a solution for a consultation prompt. It was honestly one of the most mentally demanding weekends that I have experienced in a long time. There was a weird amount of added pressure and desire to prove myself that made the challenge a little more stressful. Paired with the pure exhaustion, I was completely wiped and turned off by the idea of spending my time on activities like social media scrolling. That feeling lasted for quite a bit. However, it was truly such a rewarding experience. I had a great team that I was able to learn from and constructively exchange ideas with. Participating in the challenge helped increase my confidence in my abilities as an I/O psychologist. Oh, and there was the whole winning thing. My team WON first place in the Graduate Student Consultation Challenge!!
Here are my other reflections for the month of October:
I wasn’t able to do as many of the Fall activities that I would have liked, but I did go to ALL OF THE FARMS! More specifically, I went to my favorite local farm, Miller Farms, and got some of the pumpkin soft serve that they make in-house. I also visited Cox Farms for the first time (in memory) with my little brother. That place is AMAZING. There were so many activities for kids (or big kids like me) to do. Our favorite was all the slides. Some of them were really involved, which added to the fun. For example, there was a slide that told the story of Jack and the Beanstalk using (real, live!) animals and paintings. When you reached the top, you had to escape the clutches of the Giant’s hands by sliding down. So creative!
It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention the food. Cox Farm, hands down, has the best apple cider donuts that I have ever tasted. If you visit, make sure you go to the stand before they close. They make fresh donuts, so it tastes absolutely amazing to bite into one that is still warm.
I made it through the entire month AND Halloween without eating any candy. I will admit that today has been a little challenging to see candy bowls around the office. The goal was to give up a food for 30 days (according to the Last 90 Days Challenge), however, I don’t feel like I need candy like I once did. I plan to continue to avoid candy consumption, but I think that the real challenge will come when I am faced with some of my triggers. Mainly, I turn to candy when I road trip. I have a trip coming up, so we’ll see if I can find some healthier substitutions :).
Daily writing in my gratitude journal has been my highlight of the challenge so far. It is a great reflective practice that has really ingrained itself into my nightly routine. The great thing about it is, I can still complete it when I am on the go. This past weekend when I was out of town, I simply created a note in my phone to transfer later. I find myself catching moments throughout the day that I mentally note to be thankful for. I encourage everyone to try it out.
In my October Bucket List post, I admitted that I was never someone that drinks water. This month, I was able to prove myself wrong! Participating in the Last 90 Days challenge has given me a concrete water goal that I am actively pursuing every day. Out of the 31 days this month, there were only 8 days that I did not reach my water goal. Either way, my water consumption has increased substantially. We all know that there are tons of benefits to drinking water, but I have found the most benefit has been with my exercising. Staying hydrated is essential to both perform and recover from a workout.
A fun tool that has been helping me keep track of my water intake is the Habit Minder app. It’s pretty simply designed and allows you to add different amounts of water throughout the day. You can also set up reminders and it provides a rewarding confetti shower once you meet your goal.
This month, I completed 6 out of 8 items on my October Bucket List. This month was definitely busier than usual. Even school has been more demanding. While I didn’t get to go apple picking or make it to a haunted house, I attended my school’s homecoming and a Fall themed gathering with friends to celebrate the season. Through the chaos, I experienced growth in multiple areas of my life that I plan to continue to pursue. As my fave dude, Dave Hollis says: “You’re either growing or you’re dying.”
BTW, it’s not too late to join me and so many others in the Last 90 Days Challenge. Finish out the year strong with me!
Stay tuned for my November Bucket List!