Occupational Wellness: You Said WHAAAT?

There always seems to be a fine line that you walk at work with what you can share and what maaaaaaybe you should just, you know, not. All of this depends on the culture of the organization as well and the relationships that you build with your co-workers, plus your own personality. Some people are more willing to chat and talk about things while others like to feel things out first. This article from LearnVest though kind of sets the tone for a few things that you should really just not talk to your boss about. And really, they are pretty basic/common sense. Obviously you never tell you boss that something they are asking you to do is impossible. If something is difficult or you don’t think that you can handle the task, think about reframing your concerns. Flat out saying no way this is impossible and I’m not going to do it…just doesn’t go over as well.

The other thing to keep in mind is your personal life. Often times, our professional lives and personal lives will meet and possibly bleed into each other. Sharing a bit about your personal life helps you also establish relationships (and dare I say friendships) at work. But there is appropriate to share and then there is not appropriate. No one needs to hear how hungover you are (heeeey college kids, same goes for you) or what insane drama is happening in your life that is making it hard to concentrate at work.

Again, what is appropriate and not appropriate at work really depends on a number of things. I have had bosses that have barely known my last name and I had a supervisor who I actually ended up living with in grad school. My general rule of thumb, don’t overshare. Air on the side caution. You can always let more people into your personal life but you can’t undo saying things that you have already said.

Financial Wellness: Ca$h Money!

Ok, even though I am not doing an official check-in of my goals, I do really want to check-in with my financial goal. I mentioned that I was going to try to do the living on a cash diet thing. And I just you know, sort of wanted to give an update.

I am really enjoying it. I have a jar too that I keep any of my leftover money from the week in. I really try hard not to dip into those leftover funds just to see how much I can save from my leftover cash. There have been 2 times that I have dipped back into that fund and both things came up when I bought stuff beyond my normal weekly purchases. I rarely have to use my debit card when I’m out (which honestly does make me not freak out as much with identity theft). One of my big worries with just using cash was that I would just blow the money. Just spend like crazy. But I am actually feeling more conscientious of my spending when I use cash than when I just swipe with my debit card. An added bonus? Getting quarters for the week for laundry is somewhat of a game to me now.

I’m really only 2 months into using cash but so far I am liking it and my bank account is enjoying it as well.

Would you ever ditch the plastic for cash?

Intellectual Wellness: College.

So, I know that it is the beginning of the month and I usually do a check-in, but for February, can I just not? Well…I mean it is my blog so really I can do whatever…but. Ok, so I’ll confess. February=crazy. Crazy, crazy, crazy. A ton of stuff happened and I kept super busy all month long. So that means A.) I didn’t finish a book this month (crap) and  B.) my goals were definitely pushed on the back burner as I just do whatever I can to keep afloat during this month. February just happens to be when things get crazy with work. I also found out that I will be transitioning my role a bit, which just brings it’s own slew of happenings. So all of that is just why…I’m just not going to do a full recap on the month. It was crazy. It was busy. It was stressful. It was February. But now it’s March, so let’s get on with it, shall we?

So I am admittedly someone who loves to watch YouTube while I get ready. And I’m not always into watching an entire show on Netflix because sometimes I just need 10 minutes of a little some something and I just find that I often gravitate towards YouTube to watch (er have background noise…) while I get ready in the morning. I recently stumbled upon this video by ClothesEncounter which just gives a run down of the 1o things she learned in college beyond you know, the actual content of her courses. Naturally, I find my inspiration from other people’s work because I’m not very creative and I heavily rely on others ideas…anyway. You know what’s coming.

Background info:  I went a 4 year university (graduated in 3 1/2) and got my BA in Psychology w/ a certificate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. I then went on to grad school for 2 years and got my MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. So here are my tips/TIL from college.

1.) As annoying as it is to have to take those general education/core classes, just do it and make the most out of it. Because I took Intro to Psych as a freshman, I actually found my major. And that story really isn’t that uncommon.

2.) Don’t get so caught up in the, “I’m a psych major so what career and I going to go into with a psych degree?” (especially for those of you in the Liberal Arts and Sciences majors). Start thinking about what knowledge, skills, and abilities (or for those I/O-ers reading this, KSAs) you are gaining from school. How can you apply your education to a career? Look at it broader and look at the big picture. Remove your blinders and think more broadly.

3.) Intern! Oh god if there is one thing that i regret from college is not being more involved on campus and not ever interning anywhere. There are interns in my office now and they are just so much better off than I ever was. Just intern. Just do it. Regardless of whether or not you get paid. Intern.

4.) Study abroad. I also really regret never taking the opportunity to study abroad. I regret this so much. There really isn’t ever another time in your life for this opportunity. Start researching it, start putting away money for it, and seriously, go do it.

5.) Speaking of research, freaking research financial aid and scholarships. Seriously. Become a master of your finances before you even start college. Know exactly what you are signing before you sign it and if you don’t know, make an appointment with a financial aid counselor or student legal services or with a banker locally. Know what you are getting yourself into. Be willing to look at the bigger picture.

6.) Planning. This is something that I got to be a pro at in grad school. Every Sunday night, I would go through my syllabuses and map out my week. I would make to-do lists of what I needed to accomplish every single day. What exactly would I need to read every single day so that come the weekend, I didn’t have 100s of pages of research articles to cram in. And then I made a to-do list for every single day. It seems excessive, but did it ever save my bootay in grad school. Then every night, I would watch the Daily Show and re-evaluate my to-do list. If there was any extra projects that needed to get added or if I ran out of time that day…I made a master plan on Sunday and re-evaluated every night to make sure I got everything done and did it in a way that I could retain the information.

7.) While you are planning out your days, make time for stress relief. For me, this was gym time. I forced myself to the gym in grad school even though I didn’t think that I had time for it. But taking an hour a day to step away from the books and shut my brain off was seriously the best thing for me. I then got the point where I would pack my gym clothes when I left for the day and park in the gym’s parking lot so I had to walk to the gym to go home. And if I already had my gym clothes with me…might as well just go ahead and work out, right? Right.

8.) Learn from setbacks. I don’t like to call them failures. But yeah…failures/setbacks are going to happen. That’s life. Give yourself a day to be upset and frustrated (either right after the fact or later on). But figure out what went wrong and why and how you can make sure that failure doesn’t happen again.

9.) Take advantage of being a college student. That doesn’t mean to use it as an excuse to get wasted and drunk every weekend (take it from me, you don’t have to and that’s not the norm – if you don’t feel comfortable doing that and your friends are constantly pressuring you to do that even after you say no, they aren’t your friends). That means, student discounts and free services. Often, you get a student discount for things like your gym but there are also stores that offer student discounts and you can sometimes get concert tickets for student discounts. Don’t be afraid to either research or ask. The worst they can say is no. Also, universities tend to have tons of free services like financial aid counseling, legal help (yup, that usually means your taxes!), and even mental health counseling in addition to all the free t-shirts and key chains. You are essentially paying for everything with your tuition so you might as well use it up.

10.) Friends. The people you meet in college are the greatest people. I’m still close with a few people and I love them dearly. They are people who I will be friends with for my entire life. But at the same time, there are people who you will meet, love, and then lose contact with. Don’t be sad for these friendships. Remember them fondly. And for the people who are bad influences on you, remember them with the lesson.

You learn a lot in college. And pretty much none of my TIL have anything to do with class. But college is more than just class. For a lot of people, it is the first time being out on their own. You are expected to learn a ton from class but you will also be learning a world of things about yourself.

Weekend Bonus Post.

I’m a competitive person. I always have been. I’m competitive in every aspect of my life, from physical to mental to financial to everything else in between. I constantly compare myself to every single person in my quest to be better. Am I smaller? Do I have more money? Am I faster? Am I prettier? Am I more intelligent? Am I happier? 

But I constantly keep having these revelations as I think of my friends and how they are complaining that they don’t have certain things in their life. 

We can’t compare our lives. Because everyone has something that we want and we have something that some else wants. Plus there is no formula for happiness. Having kids won’t necessarily make you happy. Getting married won’t necessarily make you happy. Having a shit ton of money, being skinny, having a high IQ, having a high status job, traveling the world…all of these things won’t necessarily make you a happy person. 

So why do we keep comparing ourselves and our happiness levels to other people? Especially when the majority of people are presenting the best version of themselves to the world and not their true version. Because the fact is that we are not happy all the time. So is it really worthwhile to be so competitive?