Self-Care Techniques - Jess Sullivan
The beginning of the pandemic, back when we first started lockdown, was a time where most of us were able to take a step back and breathe. That first “two week” break gave us a chance to think about using our time wisely, prioritizing self-care and giving ourselves a much needed break from the stresses of school.
As someone who rarely takes a break from my academic life, this was a strange place to be in. We weren’t given homework, we didn’t have exams to study for, and we didn’t even have classes to go to. Everything just went stagnant, and suddenly we all had a LOT of free time. It was my senior year in high school, and it was very hard to find the bright side to all of this with graduation and prom almost out of reach. However, I decided that all I could do was make the best of it. I tried to find some self-care techniques that would work to soothe my anxiety and uncertainty of the future, some of which I still keep today. Maybe some of these will help you too!
The most important thing I learned over quarantine was knowing my limits. Socially, emotionally, academically… we all have a breaking point. Sometimes, you reach a point where you really can’t focus or give your all anymore. And that’s okay. During these times, I recognize my own fatigue and burnout. Instead of pressing on and forcing myself to follow through with a task, I allow myself to step away. Go for a walk, take a quick (ish) Netflix break, even water the plants in my dorm. Anything to separate myself from what I was doing and give myself a chance to recharge.
Going off of that, getting a plant has been a huge relaxer for me, as strange as it sounds. It provides a bit of brightness to my room and gives me something to take care of. Even if you don’t think you have a green thumb, there’s plenty of videos and readings online to help out. You can get something that doesn’t even need too much watering in case you (like me) are somewhat forgetful. When I first came to BU, that’s the first thing I wanted to buy. Having something green and alive in the dorm is comforting, and it gives you an overall “feel good” vibe.
Another thing I’m just getting into is keeping a skincare routine. It gives me something I feel like I have control over, and it’s honestly really relaxing to end the day with! Especially after staring at a screen all day, it’s refreshing and helps get me into the mindset of “okay, time for rest.” It’s very hard to remember every day, but I’ll get there eventually, right?
Lastly, especially since the weather is starting to warm up a bit, getting outside is crucial. I couldn’t believe how good I felt after the first 50 degree day, where I was able to go for a walk and comfortably keep the windows open. If you can, take a class outside, do homework outside, get out and walk for a little while. Being cooped up inside all day isn’t good for anyone, so taking a chance to go out in the sun is a great opportunity to refresh and recharge, while also adding a healthy twist to your school day.
Both mentally and physically, I wish you good health and I hope that at least some of these tips give you a few ideas for self-care. Drink water, try and get eight hours of sleep. We’re all in this together, be kind to yourself.