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The new semester is in full swing, and many college students are once again swamped with school work, internships, part-time jobs … you name it! To avoid burnout from our busy schedules, especially during the pandemic, it’s very important for all of us to take care of ourselves, both mentally and physically.

Something I started doing this semester is taking short walks in my neighborhood. Spending my day as a full-time university student going virtual is forcing me to stare at a computer almost 25/8 hours of the week. To somehow protect my eyes from the harmful blue light and get that vitamin C, I like to enjoy my leisure time with some movement. I would plug in my earphones and turn on a podcast (most of the time it would be Stephenie Soo’s Rotten Mango where she talks about true crime) as I stride around the neighborhood.

A change of scenery

The sight of the sun and trees is definitely a breath of fresh air (literally) since those who stay at home are always cooped up in their room. Getting a change in scenery can definitely reset your mind and make you more focused when you get back to work. Also don’t forget your mask and water bottle, for both safety and to stay hydrated throughout the light workout.

Making schoolwork more manageable

I guess one of the good things about online school is that it eliminates the time needed to commute to campus. Because of that, I was able to get plenty of sleep at night before waking up in time for my 8 a.m. lecture. Many people from those inspirational Instagrams and study vloggers on YouTube suggest you dress up to feel more productive and to be actually “learning”, but in my case, I find myself to be more concentrated if I were in comfortable clothing and snuggled up in a warm blanket, with a nice cup of red bean soup (because I’m from an Asian culture) next to me. But that’s just me, that’s not everyone.

My best advice for finding the self-care that works for you is to be open to suggestions, but also keep in mind that you are the only person who knows yourself. If something doesn’t work for you, don’t force it just because it’s in the “trend”. I think that’s one of the toxic aspects when it comes to the self-care and productivity community.

Bringing the spa, to you

Recently with my birthday passing, my friend gifted me some scented candles and essential oils for me to use as a room decoration. Because of that now I’m addicted to anything that produces a nice fragrance in my room, including bath bombs. When I’m not in a rush to complete an assignment or study for a test, I like to relax my body by taking a long bath with a bath bomb. I would also have some hype EDM songs playing in the background. Weird combination, I know. There’s a high possibility for me to fall asleep if I play slow jazz or lofi songs, so I try to balance it out with a workout playlist.

Find your groove, here’s a few self-care suggestions that could work for you:

  • Read that book you’ve been meaning to dive into
  • Spend some time either working on (or starting a new) hobby that relaxes you! Knitting, painting, cooking, the sky’s the limit!
  • Call or write a letter to an old friend or family member that you’d like to catch up with
  • Grab a journal, and write down anything you’re feeling. Sometimes just getting all of our thoughts on paper can be wonderfully cathartic.
  • Write down a few things you’re grateful for in life, and really focus on them for a little bit
  • Take care of a task that has been bugging you to do but you just haven’t gotten to it yet. Sometimes self-care is doing things we don’t want to, but will help us in the long run!

Graphic by Juana Garcia

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