A Recipe for Resilience

Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, Northern Illinois University
Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, Northern Illinois University

With the end of the semester just out of reach for most of us, we all know how hard it can be to power through strong when you’re just feeling burnt out. The idea of “giving up” isn’t anyone’s ideal situation, but after we have been beaten and worn down from a long semester of hard work, it actually starts to not sound that bad. The most common phrases I hear from people around this time include, “I’m done.” “I don’t even care anymore.” “I can’t do this anymore.” “I’m not even enjoying what I’m doing anymore.” So I started looking into the idea of resiliency. Resiliency is a skill that takes years and years to perfect and it is often forgotten, but in my opinion, it is 100% the most important skill we can have. For those of you who don’t know what resiliency is exactly, my explanation is it is your ability to bounce back strong from difficult situations. It is your ability to pick yourself back up after you’ve been hurt, discouraged or knocked down and keep going.

 

It’s no secret that life is tough for everyone in its own ways. Have you ever heard that expression, “Life is tough, get a helmet?” Well resiliency is like your own personal built in helmet to protect your head, heart and spirit from the times that life full-on superman tackles you to the ground. You would never go play tackle football without a helmet on, and the same goes for trying to get through life without resiliency.

 

I thought about the most resilient people in my life and what they all have in common. It wasn’t much, some were old men, and some were young college women. Some came from very well off and wealthy families and others came from next to nothing. Some were outstanding shining stars in life that everyone admires and others were people who have only a very small circle of close friends. However, after thinking long and hard, I came up with 10 things that all of the resilient people do to be successful in their life.

 

  1. They begin with the end in mind. These people set goals for themselves. Even if they don’t know HOW they are going to get there quite yet, they set a finish line for themselves and don’t stop until they get there. They are “big picture” thinkers. If something happens, they look at the situation with the question “How much does this actually affect my ability to get to the finish line?” Often times, in the big picture setting, many situations seem like a big deal in the moment but if you step back and look at the grand scheme of things, they are only tiny speed bumps in the road.
  2. They stand up for themselves. These people know the importance of maturely expressing to others when they feel they are being mistreated. They have self-worth and know that they are important enough and deserve to be treated with respect. In turn, these people treat others with the same respect they wish to be given. They don’t let people push them around or lower their self-esteem. They see everyone as equals and deserving of happiness and compassion, including themselves.
  3. They know how to recharge. Whether they recharge alone or with other people, they know what they need to do to avoid hitting that “low battery” feeling on a daily basis. They do not wait for all of the pressures in their lives to build up and break them. They recharge in small amounts every day to elongate their battery life. They know how important taking time to make yourself feel good is and how it pays off in the long run.
  4. They are grateful. Instead of seeing what they are missing or what else they want in life that they don’t have, they only see how incredibly lucky they are in the present time. They make themselves feel rich and fulfilled every single day by focusing on all the things that ARE going right in their life. They don’t think about what they need to get to be happy like many people do. Many people think “If I could just make more money I would be happy,” “If i just had that cute dress I would be happy,” “If I had a relationship like that other person has, then I would be happy.” Instead, they make themselves feel rich by what is already in their lives. These people count their blessings and are happy with whatever number that is without comparing it to anyone else’s blessings.
  5. They accept that the world isn’t fair and don’t expect it to be. These people don’t keep score. Life isn’t about who has the most points on the scoreboard, it’s about the experiences you had that got you there. They don’t expect anything out of life and don’t feel like the world owes them anything. They work hard for what they attract into their lives.
  6. They focus on what they can control. There are A LOT of things in life to worry about. However, these people can look at a worry they have and immediately decide if it is something they can change or not. If this factor is uncontrollable, they don’t waste any of their energy worrying about it and instead channel their energy to putting a plan of action together for what they can control.
  7. They are their own number one fan. They are their own cheerleader. They don’t expect anyone else to hold them up, they can do it on their own. They constantly praise themselves and give themselves pats on the back when they feel they have earned it. So often people are waiting for someone else to tell them, “you did a great job,” or “you’re a rock star” and when they don’t hear those words of affirmation, they feel depressed or like they are not doing a good job. People with resiliency say “I’m not going to wait for someone to tell me I did a good job, I’m going to tell myself.” However, this does not mean they don’t know when they have room and opportunity for growth, they are just happy and confident in themselves. They do not care what other people think of them as long as they are content with the person they are. You’re never going to make everyone happy so you might as well just make yourself happy.
  8. They don’t HAVE emotions, they CHOOSE emotions. Instead of saying, “I feel frustrated today,” or “I’m so angry today” they say “I am choosing to be frustrated over this situation” or “I am choosing to be angry about this.” They are in control of their emotions, their emotions don’t control them. This doesn’t mean they don’t let themselves have a good, long cry every once in a while though! They just think about why they are feeling a certain way and what they can do to feel the way they want to be feeling instead.
  9. They are 50 shades of grey thinkers. No, not related to the book series. These people refuse to think in just black and white. They don’t see only two solutions to every problem. They get creative when problem solving and utilize communication and compromise to find the best way out of a situation. They think outside of the box and are not afraid to try something new.
  10. They know “The Secret” and how to use it. Now this may frustrate you, but I am not going to just tell you what the secret is. It’s WAY too good to just tell you. You have to look for it and find your own understanding of it. If you have no idea what this “secret” is, go do some research. On Netflix. #firstworldprobs. Go to Netflix, type in “the secret” and watch that documentary. There is also a book if you prefer to read. This secret is not something that can just be told but once you understand it, it will change your life. I was first introduced to “the secret” when I was in 7th grade and over the years have definitely come to have my own understanding of it. For me, the secret is the power of positive thinking. Find your own secret.

Building resilience takes time, effort and patience. My favorite part about resiliency though is that it looks different for everyone. You can’t just give someone a magic formula that if they follow these steps they will be resilient. It’s a trial and error process that you don’t have to go at alone. Ask other people how they deal with problems and recharge. Ask other people for help and advice. Once you find your recipe for resilience, nothing can stop you from living the life YOU choose for yourself.

Advertisements

That’s Sick!

Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, Northern Illinois University
Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, Northern Illinois University

All of you have heard the advice, get good sleep, don’t share food/make up, eat healthy, etc. But have you ever wondered WHY? Have you ever wondered what is actually happening inside of your body when you don’t take care of it? Being young and in college, a lot of times we do not think about what we are doing to our bodies that will affect us later in life. Here are some tips (that you have heard your entire life) to keep your immune system in TIP TOP shape but also with some explanations behind them so that you know your parent’s weren’t just making this stuff up.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-7858-1381256727-9.gif

I know this article is kind of long and you’re busy. So if you actually don’t care why you get sick, just follow the advice I have conveniently bolded for you. Or don’t. But when you get sick I WILL say “I told you so.”

Avoid sharing food and drinks. While this may seem super obvious to a lot of you (and also very likely to be ignored advice), here are just a few of the many diseases that can be spread by taking a quick swig of water from your teammate’s water bottle. It is also important to note that most of these illnesses have something called an incubation period. This means the illness is in a person’s body and contagious to other people without any symptoms showing yet.

  1. The common cold
    • While this one is probably not life threatening, it is definitely still going to set you back from accomplishing your daily tasks! (While also giving you an excuse to lay in bed and watch Netflix all day.)
  2. Strep Throat
    • If left untreated, this can cause rheumatic fever and kidney failure. If you have a sore throat for more than 3 days accompanied with a fever of over 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit, definitely head to a doctor to prevent further complications from this nasty illness! Your doctor can diagnose this by swabbing the back of your throat.
  3. Mononucleosis
    • This illness can be dangerous in that your spleen can become enlarged. If you ignore this and continue to push yourself while you’re sick, your spleen could rupture. Which would hurt. Your doctor will test for mononucleosis by taking a sample of blood (which may hurt a little, but I bet it will hurt less than your erupting spleen if you ignore it!!!) anigif_enhanced-buzz-1308-1381264163-3.gif
  4. Meningitis
    • This disease is an inflammation of the area surrounding your brain and spinal cord and can definitely be life threatening and unfortunately is spread through shared saliva! Head straight to the doctor if you experience sudden high fever, stiff neck or severe headache.
  5. Mumps
    • This one can be tricky because you can be infected with the virus for up to three weeks without showing any symptoms. When symptoms do finally appear, they typically are a very swollen face and glands surrounding the face, fever, headache, muscle aches and pain from chewing. Complications of this can be very serious including causing the person to become permanently deaf, inflammation of the brain and inflammation of the pancreas.  
  6. Cold sores (herpes simplex virus)
    • The really annoying thing about catching the herpes simplex virus is that there is no cure. Once you have it, the virus lays dormant in your body and can flare up whenever it feels like it! 
  7. Hand, foot and mouth disease.
    • This is an illness that is typically seen in young children and child care facilities (because of the sneezing, coughing, general lack of hygiene that young children have) but college environments are the perfect breeding ground for it also. This illness causes painful blisters to appear on the person’s hands, feet and mouth and you can have the virus in your body AND be contagious for up to 6 days before you show any symptoms. Sores and blisters will eventually break, crust over and heal on their own but this can also be accompanied with high fever and flu-like symptoms. 

Don’t drink too much caffeine. Up to 400 mg of caffeine a day is safe. Anything beyond that and you risk:

  1. Increased heart rate and blood pressure which leads to increased risk for heart disease as you age.
  2. Increased nervous system stimulation which leads to increased anxiety, restlessness and headaches/ migraines.
  3. Increased release of adrenaline which leads to being irritable, jittery, confused and emotional.
  4. Caffeine is a diuretic which makes your body rid itself of water. This can cause your body to be chronically dehydrated without you even realizing it!
  5. Caffeine interferes with your body being able to absorb calcium which leads to bone thinning, osteoporosis, easily fractured bones, muscle twitches and aches.
  6. Caffeine interferes with estrogen production making it more difficult to get pregnant and more likely to suffer from fibrocystic disease (painful calcified lumps in your breast.)

RELAX!! High amounts of stress for long periods of time can cause:

Adrenal glands to overproduce adrenaline and cortisol which leads to increased heart rate, blood pressure, pupil dilation and your liver over releasing glucose. You may say “oh, so what?!” Well, long term effects of these things cause severe heart problems, stomach and digestion problems, decreased fertility and decrease white blood cell production (which means you’re probably going to get sick!)

Dude, go to sleep. Not getting enough sleep can:

  1. Disrupt your circadian rhythms which decreases your white blood cell production.
  2. Decrease your neurotransmitters which regulate mood.
  3. Impair your ability to concentrate and think clearly.
  4. Increase levels of anxiety (which also means increase of heart disease.)
  5. Increase risk of breast cancer – too much exposure to artificial light at night (cell phones, ipads, tablets, etc.) cause your body to stop producing melatonin which disrupts your estrogen production.
  6. Lead to unhealthy cravings. Lack of sleep causes your ghrelin levels to increase (the hormone that makes you hungry) and your leptin levels to decrease (the hormone that makes you feel full.)

It feels weird to write about nursing stuff without a professional citation. So since I pulled it from my brain, this is the best I can do:

Luchowski, Lindy. What Lindy Learned in Nursing School. Taken from the limbic system in the brain. Northern Illinois University. 2011-2015.

Chicken fried rice that will blow your mind

Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, Northern Illinois University
Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, Northern Illinois University

So if you know anything about me, you know I am OBSESSED with chicken fried rice. It’s actually a problem. I crave it every day and eat it probably every other day. So for the past 2 months, I have dedicated myself to being able to make the perfect chicken fried rice at home (for my bank account’s sake.) I have tried over 8 different chicken fried rice recipes that I found on Pinterest, combined my favorites from all of them, and came up with this recipe.

I should also tell you that I do not cook at all and I am a pretty awful cook. So don’t judge me on like a gourmet chef level here.

But I am really proud to say that I went out to eat and got chicken fried rice and actually liked mine better…. SCORE for my bank account. Here we go. Buckle your seat belts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 C frozen peas
  • 4 C cooked rice, cold <— Making sure it is cold rice is KEY!
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 1/2 Tb butter
  • 1/4 C soy sauce (I use low sodium soy sauce!)
  • 2 1/2 tsp oyster sauce <— I know, it sounds weird but I PROMISE it is SO GOOD.

FYI- I don’t measure anything and it still turns out great, but technically this is what the recipe calls for.

Steps:

  1. Put your pan on high heat and melt 1 Tb of butter. Add the onions, peas and carrots. Saute the veggies until they start to soften.
  2. Add the cold rice. Add salt and pepper. Add more butter. (another Tb?) Fry this concoction, stirring occasionally. Every recipe I read says only cook it for about 4-5 minutes, but I usually cook it for somewhere around 10-12. I like the veggies soft and the rice really fried.
  3. Take another pan and of course, add more butter and cook the chicken. Then, throw the chicken in the pan with the rice.
  4. Take the scrambled eggs and put them in the party pan too.
  5. Then, take that soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir it together in a bowl. Then pour it over your rice. Then cook for another 3 minutes, stirring continuously.
  6. Put it on a plate. Add more soy sauce if you’re like me and love soy sauce.
  7. Get your mind blown. SO good. mindblown.gif

Let me know if you try it and have anything to add! I’m super determined to have the best chicken fried rice!

Being in College: As told by the girls from “Toddlers and Tiaras”

Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, Northern Illinois University
Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, Northern Illinois University

So if you know me, you know I am OBSESSED with the show “Toddlers and Tiaras”. While the show has sparked plenty of controversy over the country, I think it is safe to say we can all agree with what these little beauty queens were thinking at the time.

  1. When someone is trying to make decisions regarding your position in the chapter. tumblr_me2n7zXY2F1ryb0hd
  2. When there is an event scheduled before 10 a.m. on a weekend. 6a00d8341bf67c53ef017c3697c115970b-800wi
  3. When you and your best friend win an award together. 90578ac404dc1fdcbcef34c6f72947c36cd917d6_m
  4. When someone says something stereotypical about your chapter.tt3
  5. When you walk into a class where you don’t know anyone. 6a00d8341bf67c53ef017d40c65960970c-800wi
  6. When you see all your new members looking perfect at your first social event.635656729185492841-450655083_my size is cute
  7. When you kick butt on a test that you didn’t study for at all.  26770272SEM
  8. When someone asks you where you see yourself in 5 years. 82189333
  9. When someone gets an A on a test that you studied for hours on to get a C.applauseanimatedsarcasmtoddlers-and-tiarasgood-for-youtoddlerstiarastoddlers-amp-tiaras
  10. Recapping what you did that day. tt5
  11. When you get a little too overprotective of your crafting collection. tumblr_lqmwt8409r1qaryr9o1_500tumblr_lqmwt8409r1qaryr9o2_500
  12. When you’re going into the last round of formal recruitment. tumblr_lxx558Qw4E1qmaa05o1_500
  13. When your class gets cancelledtumblr_ly5v7n84Ib1qb9pa3o1_500
  14. Your priorities every weekend.tumblr_mbxg2rhFO31rtc9of
  15. When you think about how much you accomplish on a weekly basis. tumblr_mpzsx0nkdx1qkfspko1_500
  16. When your ex is trying to apologize….again. Toddlers-Tiaras-Gif.gif
  17. When none of your friends seem to agree on where to go eat dinner. e2da2f_0a1ae53b0a564c7ab320ab48da85a997
  18. When you’re in a bad mood and just want to be left alone but everyone is trying to cheer you up.                               tumblr_m23alvWoIb1qzi40do1_500

Law Abiding Citizens

Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, Northern Illinois University
Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, Northern Illinois University

My life experience in the South just continues to get more and more strange. I am continuously surprised by the things I come across that are different from life in the North.

The idea that sparked this blog post came from the fact that nobody knows how to drive down here. It is ridiculous; do they learn what a turn signal is in driver’s ed?? People drive so incredibly erratically down here, it actually inspired me to look up the “rules of the road” on the internet to see if I even legally needed to use a turn signal.

As I was looking up road laws in Tennessee, I came across these other insanely, hilarious state laws. It is a good thing I looked these up because I would not want any of these violations to be on my personal record.

  1. One may not throw a bottle at a tree. (But apparently throwing it at anything else is acceptable…)
  2. In Dyersburg county, it is illegal for a woman to call a man for a date. 
  3. Restaurant owners may not let patrons make loud, unusual noises. (Side note- “unusual noise” is at the discretion of the owner. I guess that would be a bad place for me to do karaoke.) 
  4. When you pull up to a stop sign you must fire a gun out the window to warn horse carriages that you are coming. (The fact that this implies everyone owns a gun also scares me.) download
  5. It is illegal to transport an ice cream cone in your pocket. (But this seems like such an effective method to me?!)
  6. No one may eat ice cream on the sidewalk. (A town that tells me where I can and cannot eat ice cream is a town I NEVER want to be in.) 
  7. It’s illegal for frogs to croak after 11 PM. (I’m sure if you ask them nicely they will stop.)
  8. Anyone rollerblading may not tie his or herself to a moving vehicle on a highway. (I have 3 things to say about this one. 1- Who the heck caused this law to be made? 2- Are they okay? and 3- It’s legal to tie yourself to a moving vehicle on a regular road…?) P.S. Selfie stick or it didn’t happen. 
  9. To play pinball, one must be 18 years old.
  10. The only animal it is legal to shoot out of your car window is a whale. (Good thing, the whale population is out of control here!!) I also just found this photo and thought it was hilarious so I will share- Image result for whale memes
  11. Sharing your Netflix password is a tried and true illegality in the Volunteer State. Funny Valentines Day Pictures:
  12. You cannot lasso a fish. (I’m sad this is illegal because it seems like a talent to me.)
  13. You cannot drive while you are asleep. 
  14. All panhandlers must obtain a $10 permit before asking for money from people on the streets.  
  15. By law, women are forbidden from driving cars unless a man is either running or walking in front of the vehicle waving a red flag to warn approaching. (This is just RUDE.) Click here to see this proved wrong

 

Snow Day: the north vs. the south

Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, Northern Illinois University
Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, Northern Illinois University

I have lived in the Chicago land area since the day I was born. As many of you know, living there comes with lots of cold, wind, snow and ice. Now as I have been living in Memphis for the past semester, I have been getting used to quite a climate change! I was disappointed when I thought I was going to go the whole season without seeing any snow, but the universe must have felt like making me laugh and graciously let me experience the hysterical sight that is southern folk on a “snow day.”

This gloriously hilarious day inspired me to write this blog post.

Ten ways people from the south react differently than people from the north to a snow day:

In the north:

  1. The snow days aren’t announced until you are already at school.  
  2. A snow day will not be declared unless the snow fall is taller than your car. (And even then, the snow plows will probably have it cleared within the hour and you will still have to swim through the snow to drive to school.)
  3. Snow plows are out on the street as soon as it starts snowing.
  4. On the rare chance there ever is a snow day, students everywhere bundle up, grab a sled (or really any sort of flat surface) and play the day away!#Frozen #memes .. .Top 17 most Funny Frozen #Quotes:
  5. People drive to work, school, or whatever they were planning on doing that day. 
  6. The busiest place before a snow storm is the gas station so people do not have to stand outside and fill their gas tanks in the blizzard when they are driving to work.
  7. Apartment complexes send out their typical “pay your rent!” letters.
  8. People sprinkle salt on their sidewalks, doorsteps or outside stairs.
  9. People put on their warm boots and give themselves 15 extra minutes to be where they need to be. 
  10. People breathe.

In the south:

  1. The snow day is announced a full day before there are even snow clouds in the sky.
  2. A snow day is declared as soon as ONE snowflake falls from the sky. I am not kidding, I had to squint to see the snow on the ground this morning on our “snow day.” 
  3. I asked one of the Beta Xi Chapter members, “Are there a lot of snow plows around here?” and she said, “What is a snow plow?” 
  4. You would think these people are in the movie “The Grey.” They lock their doors, climb into bed with winter gear on and ten blankets and hibernate until the dusting on the road melts away. 
  5. People are afraid to walk to the mailbox, let alone drive a vehicle. Comical pictures of the hour – 10 pics:
  6. The grocery stores look like the mall on Black Friday. Like we are about to have a zombie apocalypse and grocery stores will not be in existence anymore. (Seriously, I made the mistake of going to Kroger last night to grab a frozen pizza since I really wasn’t in the mood to cook, looked at the check out line weaving in between aisles and walked out.)
  7. Apartment complexes send out full “to-do lists” to prepare for the snow with 10 “must-do steps” to stay safe.
  8. People dump piles of salt outside so that you actually can’t even see the snow anymore. I also felt a solid two inches taller throughout the day today because I was standing on an extra two inches of salt everywhere.
  9. People put on boots, wrap these little chain things around them so they don’t slip and leave at least an hour early to anything. January:
  10. Everyone panics. 

Save it for a rainy day!

Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, Northern Illinois University
Lindy Luchowski, Gamma Zeta, Northern Illinois University

Despite pretty much every person’s opinion on the face of the earth, cold and rainy days are my absolute favorite! I feel so happy and productive on rainy days. I could literally sit at a desk and work all day as long as I have a window looking out to stormy clouds and rain.

rainyday

Rainy days always make me feel inspired, like we are getting a fresh start. The rain washes away all the stress and chaos that goes on and it makes everyone slow down from the crazy, fast-paced lives we all lead. Everything gets a little quieter when it rains, giving us the opportunity to refocus ourselves for the next crazy day we have coming up.

It has been raining non-stop for the past 4 days here in Memphis and I absolutely LOVE IT. Everyone has heard that saying “save it for a rainy day,” so as I am sitting in the Starbucks at the University of Memphis I have decided to make a list of all the things you should accomplish the next rainy day you experience. So the next rainy day you have, fight the urge to stay in bed and watch Netflix all day and take advantage of the fact that you can still stay inside with no make-up on and be productive at the same time!

  1. Catch up with an old friend. On days when you are forced to be inside all day, take advantage of those cell phone things we have and take some time to call, text or email a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. This can help you feel reconnected to the people you love and care about but don’t always take the time to tell them. You could also write someone a cute “thinking of you” card and send it in the mail to brighten their day!
  2. Try a new recipe. Let’s put all of those hours we (well, I) spend on Pinterest to use! On warm days when it’s nice outside, we don’t always want to turn on our ovens and heat up the house. Take advantage of the chilliness outside and try a new baking recipe! It will not only warm up your living space, but also make it smell good! (Unless you are me and set off the fire alarm EVERY single time you try and use the oven….) fail
  3. Start a new book. We all have those lists of books we have heard about that we always think “Hmm…I would like to read that one day.” Well today is the day! Even just reading one chapter in a new book is an accomplishment. Reading books is one of those activities that I love doing but always think “I am too busy for that.” Reading really can help give you new ideas and solutions to problems in your life, make you grateful for the things you have or give you some food for thought to improve your intellectual health. readingblog
  4. Journal. Take just a half hour out of your day to focus on yourself, your goals and how you want to get there. Jot down how you’ve been feeling recently, things you have enjoyed doing recently and analyze anything you would like to change about your currently daily, busy routine!blog
  5. Start……. ANYTHING! A race? A trip? An event? Just because you don’t have a deadline doesn’t mean you can’t start something new you enjoy right now! Identify something that you want to do for YOU and not because you HAVE to do it. I personally have always wanted to make a scrapbook but I always think “That’s too big of a task to accomplish in one day.” So start on this rainy day and take it one page at a time, one step at a time or one check mark off a “to-do” list at a time! Rome wasn’t built in one day but the plans for the first building probably started inside at someone’s desk on a day they weren’t running around outside and actually had time to plan out what they wanted to do. bloggg