12 Essential Ways to Live a Sorority Zen Life
Being in a sorority is a dream come true. But sometimes the stress of your chapter obligations, a rocky big/little relationship, keeping your GPA up to standards and all the other pressures of college life can be overwhelming. Add some Greek girl Zen practices to your day and manage your anxieties in a more calming way. Find the inner peace you're looking for with these sorority sugar tips for living a sorority Zen lifestyle.
• Find Your Sorority Life Zen •
♦ Do One Thing At A Time. Multi-tasking has become a normal way of life for many people. You find yourself walking, eating, texting, reviewing class notes and putting on makeup all at the same time. Do this every day, everywhere you go, and eventually you can't focus on anything. Your actions become more and more frenzied. Step it back and purposefully do one thing at a time. When you're eating, savor the meal. When you're in a chapter meeting, sit back and listen to what's being said. When you're doing homework, just focus on studying. There will be time to check your social media, shop online, or watch Netflix later.
♦ Do Not Rush. Rushing causes stress. Allow plenty of time to get ready. Plan your travel time. Make a daily or weekly schedule and book your activities realistically. Panicked rushing, running to class, being tardy to chapter meetings, missing your ride to retreat, being late to big/little reveal are guaranteed to add maximum tension to your life and disappoint your sisters as well. Concentrate on making your actions deliberate, not chaotic and random. Slow things down a little and you'll actually be more focused and accomplish your goals.
♦ Do Things Completely. Reduce the strain by completing what you're doing before moving on to the next task. If you're crafting name tags for recruitment, finish the project before you jump up and start inflating balloons. Put your mind completely on one task before you switch to something else. Hopping around from one thing to the next leaves a mess wherever you go. Avoid distractions and you will live a more Zen sorority lifestyle.
♦ Do Less. You can't be all things to all people. It's okay to graciously say "no" to some requests from your chapter. If you overextend yourself, you will suffer mentally and physically. Pick and choose your sorority projects wisely. Pace yourself and you will be more of an asset to your sisterhood. An anxiety ridden, frantic, overbooked sister is not what your chapter wants or needs.
♦ Do Put Space in Your Schedule. If you're so heavily booked that you don't have a minute of downtime in your day, you're probably headed for disaster. Keeping an agenda is an excellent idea, but allow for some space between events. Make sure there's room to breath in your hectic lifestyle. There should be time to unexpectedly meet an old friend for coffee. Some space for a chat with your professor. Make room for forgetting a text book, having a flat tire, or popping into the campus bookstore. Leave space for life to happen naturally.
♦ Do Develop Your Own Rituals. As all Greek girls know, rituals make things more meaningful. Establish your own traditions for everyday tasks and you will focus your days, reduce anxiety and calm yourself internally. For example, establish a special way you like to prepare and eat your food, clean your room and organize your closet. Color grouping your clothes, or organizing them by style, is life changing! Friends should hang with friends. Same policy for your sock drawer. Treat everything you do with care. By elevating your personal actions, and taking pride in your lifestyle, you will reach a more Zen feeling inside.
♦ Do Designate Time for Important Things. If working out is high on your priority list, establish a regular time to exercise. Set a routine for the actions you must complete in a day. The same goes for social time with your big/little, study hours, food prep, personal grooming, crafting and all the other things you want to accomplish. The only way to balance your life is the make time for what's most valuable to you. Don't let gossiping with sisters, boyfriend problems, or unimportant diversions suck up your valuable time.
♦ Do Devote Time to Being Present. Carve out time to just "be." This can be time spent meditating, watching TV, taking a walk, reading a good book ~ whatever allows you to relax, exhale and let your hair down. Watch a sunset uninterrupted by your cell phone. Sit and eat an ice cream cone in silence. Listen to your favorite music without studying a text book at the same time. Eat lunch at the sorority house and just hang out for half an hour. Be fully present doing one thing and embrace the moment.
♦ Do Serve Others. Sororities are big on philanthropy, so you won't have any trouble accomplishing this tip. Volunteering to help those in need is a key way to center your own life. Take a shift at the bake sale table, run in the chapter 5K, sing for the elderly, visit sick children in the hospital, chair the fundraising committee. There are dozens of ways you can give back though your sorority. Look at your chapter's philanthropy events as awesome blessings in your new Zen lifestyle, not dreaded obligations.
♦ Do Think About What You Really Need. Try a new simple, streamlined way of existing. Do you really need a closet stuffed full of old clothes and shoes, drawers crammed with junk and all kinds of crap stuffed under the bed? There's something freeing about cleaning out the clutter in your life and appreciating the beautiful, quality things that you own. One or two fabulous handbags are better than a shelf stuffed with a dozen tacky ones. Edit, edit, edit. Save the best and loose the rest.
♦ Do Live an Essential Life. What's an absolute necessity in your life? For some it's doing yoga, spending time with sisters and getting straight A's. For others it might be serving as chapter president, swimming and working a part time job. Boil things down in the simplest terms and prioritize your own personal activities. Eliminate the unnecessary and unproductive things that are dragging you down. You'll be amazed at the results when you focus on the absolute essentials and let the other stuff go by the wayside. Make a list of your top "must dos" and put all your energy into that list.
♦ Do Stop Comparing, Blaming and Judging. Sisterhood is often filled with competition between members, blaming your big/little for just about everything, judging your sister's clothes, hair and habits, gossiping behind each other's backs, comparing your chapter to gorgeous sorority photos posted online, trying to keep up with your richer sisters, putting other chapters down, criticizing how the e-board makes decisions, complaining about your sorority's lame socials and much, much more. Sound familiar? You could fill a 500-page book with all the complaining and blaming that some sisters do.
If much of your time is spent in negative thinking and sounding off ~ it's time to reevaluate. Go cold turkey. Just turn off the comparing, blaming, judging attitude. Stop it and see how different you feel immediately. Negativity breeds more negativity. The well of dissatisfaction is never ending. The only way to break the cycle is to purposefully stop the behavior. Once you take a positive viewpoint on your Greek life, suddenly everything starts looking brighter. It's all about how you look at it!
• 18 Zen Lifestyle Quick Tips •
- When your chapter asks you to do something, the thing you should hear in your mind is, "We love you and value you as a sister."
- When your dance class is suddenly canceled, or your flight is delayed, instead of getting stressed, consider the change an opportunity, not a negative.
- Stop clinging to the old ways your sorority did things and embrace change as a fact of life.
- Give your big/little the benefit of the doubt. If she snaps at you, there might be something else going on that has nothing to do with you.
- Practice a daily session of silence.
- Make decisions within 10 minutes. Carefully think things through, then make a choice. Don't get bogged down in energy sapping indecision.
- Sisterhood is a gift, not a right, or a possession.
- Most things are not as serious or dramatic as they first seem.
- Before going to bed, write down 3 things you want to accomplish the next day. This is a fantastic way to prioritize your sorority life.
- Smile... it helps with everything!
- Reduce your big/little expectations. This will eliminate a lot of unhappiness. Disappointments become nonexistent and you can be pleasantly surprised with nice things happen.
- Attend religious services or meditate on spiritual issues. Centering yourself makes your sorority life so much happier.
- Do something relaxing before bed. Dump the electronics in the evenings.
- Game changer: quit taking everything personally!
- Avoid a cluttered life. After any project or activity, put things away at that time. It takes 5 minutes, rather than 3 hours of cleaning if you let things pile up.
- Treasure sorority experiences over possessions.
- When you want to buy something, write it down in your agenda a month ahead. If in a month you still want it, then go ahead and get it. This really helps reduce impulse buying.
- When in doubt, take a deep breath.