There’s no doubt that being a student during the global pandemic isn’t easy. We are forced to continue working like the world is normal, but our social pressures are increasing. We are spending so much more time looking at a screen than ever before. And the icing on the cake… no spring break. If you are anything like you, you are burnt out, exhausted, and struggling to push through with the rest of the semester. You might also be struggling with the idea that another semester of college was consumed by the global pandemic and the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t shining bright enough yet.
So yeah, we’re going through it. It’s so important to take care of yourself right now because this isn’t normal. We need to take time for ourselves to recharge in any way we can. Lucky for you, I have many tried and true tips on how do things for you, especially in these difficult times.
Change the way you speak to yourself. I know this is easier said than done, but self-care is so much more than bubble baths and yoga. It’s about the way you talk to yourself and treat yourself. What do you say when you accidentally sleep in or end up eating an extra slice of pie after dinner? How do you talk to yourself when you get a bad grade or have a bad day? These are all so important. If you start speaking kindly to yourself, I promise your life will change.
Take Up Journaling. As a SMAD journalism major with a creative writing minor, it should be no surprise that I love writing. Journaling has been my coping mechanism since I was in elementary school, but my techniques have grown recently. I focus on gratitude and what I'm thankful for. I write lists about what I love about myself. And sometimes I rant to my journal so my mom doesn't have to hear it anymore. I find that when I am sad or tired, I turn to my journal to unpack those feelings and help myself. It’s almost like a therapy session with myself where I work to unpack my own feelings. It’s hard at first, but soon enough you will start to crave it.
Exercise and eat well. I know you’ve probably heard this one before, but it's so true that good physical health helps your mental health. I think it’s so important for everyone to find a workout they love. It might be lifting or cycle, but it also might be walking with friends or doing dance videos in your room. Just find a way to move your body in a way that brings you joy. As for eating well, find healthy foods you enjoy and change your food mindset. Again, easier said than done, but try to remember that food is fuel and your body deserves the best fuel. Don’t forget to stay hydrated too!
Change your scenery. This one really helps me! I love to change where I study, eat, and adventure. I go to the library or a local coffee shop for work when I start to feel in a slump (masked up of course). I also love going for drives and walks to new places. It's been said that you can’t heal in an environment that you hurt in, so change that environment. Another way to do this is to rearrange your room or house. Move around furniture, buy new posters, or change your bedspread. As someone who moved my bed across my room this year already, I recommend it. Changing your scenery to help you grow.
Find a hobby. I feel like as we grow up we often lose our hobbies. As a kid, I had so many hobbies and creative endeavors that are no longer in my life. If you need some extra self-love, bring those hobbies back. Some of my personal favorites are meditation, thrift shopping, and cooking, but there are so many hobbies out there. Find what brings you joy, and then just do it!
Spend time with friends. This time can be very isolating. Try to surround yourself with people you love, in a safe way of course. Go for a walk or facetime someone. Hang out with your circle. Be sure to get social interactions, especially when you are busy or if lock yourself in your room for days to get projects done.
Good luck! I know this time is hard, and I am nowhere near an expert at this, but remember that we are all in this together and this time won't last forever.