After a turbulent week and a half of snow storms, power outages, and lack of water, this spring semester is off to a rocky start. And with the anniversary of the pandemic approaching, I know many, including myself, who feel overwhelmed at the thought of how much the pandemic has changed our daily lives and the world around us. There’s no doubt this pandemic has taken its toll on us, and sometimes it feels like our sanity is hanging by a thread, but life is too short to not find the joy in the simple things.
As we move forward, here are some tips for taking care of yourself and managing stress throughout the semester.
- Take a deep breath
Pause for a second, take a deep breath, and focus only on your breathing for a few seconds. Whenever it seems like you have a never ending to do list or you feel overwhelmed by whatever is going on in your life, it can help just to sit back, take a deep breath, and clear your head for a moment.
- Get Clean
Clean your room or even take a shower. Reducing physical clutter or cleansing your body will help relieve some of the stress and mental clutter of daily life. A few other ways you can do this are to clean your bed sheets, clear out some photos in your camera roll, put on a facemask, clean out your backpack/purse, or light a candle.
- Write it down
Even if you don’t like writing, putting a pencil to paper for a few minutes to do a quick brain dump can instantly help you feel better, more organized, and less stressed. Writing about your emotions or what’s causing you to feel stressed is a great way to release that stress. Or if your brain feels trampled with everything you need to do, start with writing out a list of everything and ranking each task based on how important and urgent they are. If these don’t suit your style, here are a few journal prompts to get you started.
- Eat something
Your body needs energy to function, and your brain can’t do its best studying on an empty stomach. Take a snack break, try a new recipe (I recommend finding one on Tik Tok, Pinterest, or YouTube), or treat yourself to some takeout! Do something that will nourish your body. Recreating one of your favorite childhood snacks/meals is also sure to make you feel better (talk about a Ratatouille moment!).
- Get your body moving
You don’t have to be a gym rat to appreciate the benefits of getting your body moving. Taking a walk outside or doing a few stretches at home can put the mind and body at ease. Find the type of exercise you enjoy most and set some time aside to do that, whether it be a 15 minute dance party workout at home or an hour long session at the gym.
- Do something that makes you smile
You deserve to be happy, so do something that will bring you joy! Catch up with a friend on zoom or socially distanced, watch your favorite movie, scream along to your favorite song, go out in the sunshine, hug someone, do your makeup, or do a random act of kindness; the possibilities are endless! Even if your day isn’t going too well, it doesn’t have to stay that way, so go do something right now that is sure to brighten up your mood!
Featured Image by Kara Fields