As we wrap up our unconventional semester that felt like a century and a second all at once, it’s important that we decompress in a way that is conducive to both our mental and physical health. We need to pull ourselves away from the schedules we had set for three months to really get into the break mindset, to feel the break fully. I know at least for me, doing self-care helps me unwind after a long and stressful day or a long and stressful semester.
Here is a list I like to follow to help me decompress going into break:
- Put all your school items out of sight. If you don’t always have your planner or your math notebook from this past semester near you, it’s likely you’ll be less inclined to think about the stress associated with the last couple of months.
- Do something that you haven’t done the last couple of months at least once or twice a week, like watching movies or going on walks. It helps you to recognize: “things are different.”
- You can say what you want about the stigma against meditation, but until you do it, you’ll never fully understand its power. Start for 2 minutes and work your way slowly to more and more time. It helps with so many problems in life and in this context, it’s perfect for grounding you in the space you are now in both physically and mentally.
- Exercise. We all know it helps your body feel good, but it also helps so much with relieving stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s not a cure for some, but it helps a great deal.
- Therapy or journaling: If not both, then one or the other! This will allow you to unload everything you’ve been holding in or not addressing due to pressures of school, the pandemic, and really everything going on in our world.
- Cleaning up your space makes you feel so much lighter mentally, it has even been proven to minimize anxiety.
- Sometimes the surface level self-care is just what you need! This includes: baths, candles, skin care, essential oils, and all the things that make you physically feel tidied up!
I hope you try at least one or more on my list and I hope they work as well for you as they do for me. Stay hopeful and unwind!