Counseling

•February 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Before today, I had never gone to a psychologist/shrink/counselor/whatever you want to call it.

But this morning, I had my first appointment at the University’s CAPS program. I met with a counselor for 45 minutes, and we scheduled our next meeting for three weeks from now.

My aversion to therapy began in high school as I watched family members and friends go through it. I thought I was normal; I didn’t need therapy. But this year, some of my most normal and awesome friends have been using CAPS to work out the kinks in their lives, so I thought I might as well give it a try. We use our friends as therapists, right? How bad could a counselor be? (Not bad at all, apparently.)

My counselor was female, and she seemed very kind. She was soft-spoken, which I liked. She asked me what brought me to counseling and then asked me questions to get a fuller picture of my life — friends, family, academics, etc. The 45 minutes flew by as I rambled on and on about the minor things going on in my life. I told her they’ve all started to add up and stress me out. She suggested a few ways to cope with problems in the short term, group counseling meetings I could go to in the medium term and more individual appointments in the long term.

I think it’s great that the University offers these services to students, and meeting with my counselor for the next couple of months will hopefully prepare me well for my post-college life. If you’re interested in setting up an appointment with a CAPS counselor, all the information is provided here on the organization’s website. CAPS is located on the third floor of the Michigan Union.

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Zen Moments

•February 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’m not sure if anyone noticed the Zen Moments blog I added to my blogroll a few weeks ago. I highly recommend you check out some of these wonderful stories about people experiencing what they call “zen moments” — powerful, yet small moments in their lives.

I love the story about the cabbie. And the one about the tree bending. And so on. Check out the “most popular moments” column on the left side of the blog for the good ones!

Happy hour!

•February 19, 2011 • 1 Comment

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I have plans to go to Good Time Charley’s for happy hour drinks and the Michigan basketball game in about an hour, so I thought this might be a good time to talk about friendships and relaxation.

Of course, friends can be stressful — fights, planning things, roommate drama, etc. But they can also help melt away stress. I’m a big fan of a girls’ night in. Give me a few close girl friends, a bottle of wine and a good movie, and I’m perfectly happy. We’ll talk about boys, friends and classes — as well as anything that’s stressing us out — and we’ll comfort each other. Having someone listen to your problems and care enough to try to fix them is a wonderful thing.

Today, I’m not going to happy hour to vent about frustrations in my life. (Or at least I hope not.) I’m going to watch basketball and catch up with a few guy friends from the Daily that I don’t see as much since my time there is over. I’m excited to get lost in the world of basketball and beer for a few hours!

Re-connecting with my needles

•February 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’ll confess. I probably wouldn’t have started knitting again if it weren’t for the Yarn Harlot blog we analyzed in class. Looking at all the photographs of Stephanie’s knitting projects made me miss knitting, a hobby I had throughout high school. (It was a great, cheap way to make holiday/birthday presents for everyone! Keep that in mind…) I’d learned from my little sister’s friend. I was a master at knitting scarves — they’re the easiest and quickest things to make. They’re hard to screw up, and they look pretty professional. It’s a win-win.

After looking at the Yarn Harlot blog, I decided it was time to purchase some knitting needles and yarn and give it a shot again. I went to Jo Ann’s Fabrics by Meijer and picked out a brown-black yarn. I’ve been knitting while watching TV and movies (The Notebook is on at the moment), and it’s really relaxing. Instead of typing on my computer or texting on my phone, my fingers keep busy with the needles, staying in rhythm. Hopefully, I’ll get this scarf done before spring so I can wear it. 🙂

Cardio kickboxing

•February 17, 2011 • 3 Comments

I learned something about myself tonight: I like punching things.

I finally made it out to a cardio kickboxing class at Ann Arbor College of Martial Arts (after a suggestion from Lizzy at Fun, Fit & Fearless). It was everything Lizzy promised — challenging, therapeutic and sweaty. I loved it.

I’m probably going to be super sore tomorrow because we did a variety of cardio, strength training and punching, and I hardly use some of the muscles we worked tonight. Still, it was definitely worth it. Cardio kickboxing just earned itself a weekly spot in my workout routine. It’s hard to stay mad or stressed after punching as hard as physically possible for 45 minutes.

An empty library

•February 16, 2011 • 2 Comments

Is there anything so peaceful (and depressing) as an empty library?

It’s 1:30 am, and I’m at the Ford School of Public Policy’s reading room. Everyone has left, which is strange since this room is usually super busy and bustling. I’ve got to finish a four-page paper by morning. It’s oddly relaxing to play my music loud in a dimly lit, otherwise quiet reading room.

Spinning into shape

•February 15, 2011 • 1 Comment

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Spinning is one of my absolute favorite workouts. I always dread going to it and count down the minutes during it, but I love the feeling of finishing it.

Today I popped into a spinning class at my gym. I hadn’t been to a spin class in nearly four months, so I was a little worried about my stamina. But the best thing about spinning is that you can always control the resistance on the bike if you’re not ready to push yourself to the brink.

Today’s class started right away with a hill (high resistance, some sitting and standing). We then transitioned into sprints, another hill and then some light jogging. I prefer standing on the bike (my quads burn too much if I’m sitting too long), so I really liked this particular instructor.

What’s nice about spinning is how it forces you to pay attention to your arm positioning, heart rate and speed at all times so your mind has hardly any time to wander. Plus, I like working out without my phone next to me, so that was relaxing, too.