How to Enjoy a Busy Distinguished Life

mairefebruary blogBy Máire Nakada
Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2015
I’ve been meaning to write about this particular topic for some time now but I’ve always put it off because I wasn’t sure it was interesting enough to read about. However, as the beginning of a new semester gets underway I think it’s now more relevant than ever.

The world of Distinguished Young Women is no stranger to hard workers, movers and shakers. Most of us wouldn’t be happy doing nothing meaningful with our lives. Although we may complain that there’s so much to do all the time, we wouldn’t be happy if there was nothing to be done. We all know this is true whether we like it or not. It’s part of what makes us distinguished! I’ve compiled a list of 10 things I’ve gathered from fellow DYWs on how to be a hard worker while enjoying life. Here we go!

  1. Invest in a good blanket or duvet because sleep is important and it better be good. I kid you not when I switched from my generic duvet to a down comforter my quality rating on sleep went from a 3 to a 10. Treat sleep as a top priority when you get the chance and pair that with an awesome blanket/duvet and your life will be changed.
  2. Find something that completely calms you down. For me it’s playing the ukulele when I’m overly stressed. I take a few minutes to learn a new song, I play my stresses away and jump back into work. Having a creative outlet allows your brain to relax during stressful times like when you have 3 exams to study for, a shift to cover at work, and a meeting to go to in the same day. Find your creative outlet and pour yourself into it for 5-10 minutes.
  3. DRINK WATER. Fact: most Americans don’t drink enough water. Invest in a good water bottle that you can bring everywhere with you. Sip from it and refill it all day long. You’ll find that you have more energy to get things done and that feeling of, “Wow I could use a nap” will vanish quickly.
  4. Take time to enjoy the little things in the moment that they are happening. If you are asking someone how their day is going don’t just make small talk and move on, really listen and pay attention to the person speaking. When you’re walking from class to class take a moment to look up at the trees and sky above you. Take in the sounds around you and breathe deeply. These things all help to keep us from becoming robots going through routine things every day. When I remind myself to do this I feel so much better before going into my next class. Try it out sometime!
  5. When you accomplish something on your To Do list reward yourself. The little victories are still victories and should definitely be celebrated. Small victories lead to bigger victories so don’t stop encouraging yourself. Hard work takes a lot of dedication so taking time to notice your progress is important so that you don’t get burned out.
  6. Inspire other people to be hard workers too. When you inspire another individual to work hard it gives you the incentive to keep working just as hard because they look to you as their inspirational role model and you can’t quit your hard work ethic now. It’s awesome when you notice someone else working just as hard as you because they reaffirm what you already know: hard work pays off and only a few people are willing to put in the effort. Help others out as you go along, you will be rewarded in the end.
  7. Make a list of all of your To Do’s and cross off each task as you complete it. Usually the first task on my list is, “Make a to do list.” After I cross this off my list it gets the ball rolling for the next task. It’s so satisfying to cross things off of a To Do list and if you think I’m crazy you obviously need to go make a To Do list and start crossing things off.
  8. Ask God for His guidance as you work through difficult tasks, assignments, duties, or responsibilities. I wouldn’t make it through my day if I didn’t ask for God’s guidance each and every morning before the madness begins. Take a minute and evaluate your spiritual life. Be at peace with yourself and go forward knowing God is always watching over you and loves you unconditionally. Do your best every day to make Him proud to be His child.
  9. Spread kindness like confetti and be there to help others who are struggling. Hard work can get us all bunched up and single track minded every once in a while. Make sure this doesn’t make you snap at innocent people who don’t know what you are going through at the moment. Be kind. Be understanding. Take a deep breath. Be kind again. Don’t ever let hard work get in the way of being a kind person.
  10. Find or make a music playlist that gets you inspired to keep pushing through whatever it is you’re doing. I have different Pandora playlists for the various things I do each day like working out, studying, cleaning, or just relaxing. Good music makes so much of a difference when it’s relevant to the task you’re conquering. Go make that playlist!

Well there they are: the 10 things I’ve adopted to make a hard working and busy life very enjoyable. I hope you enjoyed what I’ve gathered and try them out when you feel you need to enjoy your life a little bit more. Remember: life is what you make of it, so make it good. God bless ya’ll.
Máire Nakada is a college freshman at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Máire was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2015. Learn more about Máire here!

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