Self-Care on Spring Break

Finally, it’s spring break, the respite in the middle of the spring semester in which people often travel far and sometimes party hard. Whether you choose to travel or stay home this season, spring break is a wonderful opportunity, a glimmer of hope in the middle of the semester to actually get yourself together and build the foundation to drag yourself through the final month and a half of the semester. With that said, considering the opportunity hidden within this span of time, how do you help put yourself back together right from the start so you can go back after break not only looking like a goddess, but feeling like one too?

Take Care of your Responsibilities First     Yes, yes, I know, I seem like an old-fashioned grandma starting out an article about self-care with “don’t procrastinate”, but seriously, don’t do it. No matter how hard you try to repress it, the thought of how much work you have to do shall stick in the back of your head with every moment that you procrastinate. Plus, even if you do end up blocking it out, what good will any self-care be if it’s ruined by you staying up until 5 o’clock in the morning finishing three essays, four projects, and cramming for the exam you have in three hours? Trust me, you may not feel like catching up on your work is self-care, but it’ll pay off when you’ve got time to sleep before Monday, absolutely worry-free.

Run a Fancy Bath     You have all of your work done? Good. Now reward yourself with a nice warm bath! Soaking yourself in warm water for a while can release the tension built up over weeks of stress, and you may not even know that tension is there until you feel it melting away. Shaving during this process is, of course, optional during this stage, but I’m one of the people who takes great personal pride in shoving my smooth legs in the faces of everyone I know and making them feel. Plus, running a bath can give you an excuse to try out fun technicolor bath bombs or even make your own from a mold! One of my personal favorites going into the Easter season is Lush’s “Golden Egg” bath bomb, although I do admit that I still have ever-present golden glitter scattered in every single crevice of my bathroom. If bath bombs aren’t your style and you’re not in the mood to shell out eight bucks for one, there’s also the option of getting a $5 bottle of bubble bath from your local drugstore, squeezing it into the bathtub, and slowly drenching your entire bathroom in bubblegum-scented foam.

Wash Your Face, Woman!      Now that you’re out of the bath, there’s one part of you that still needs to get extra squeaky-clean: your face! As a college student, it’s easy to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that your nightly ritual starts to fall by the wayside. But now’s a better time than any to give your skin some much needed TLC! For this, it really doesn’t matter which products you use; you can break out a face mask made from the tears of angels that costs an arm and a leg to really pamper yourself, or you can get an inexpensive one that just has a panda face on it. You can get hydrating, foaming, sparkling clay face wash made with flakes of gold and handcrafted by the gods, or you can dig out something from under your sink that just happens to smell nice. Buy the most cutting-edge under eye masks on the market, or slap some cucumber slices on your eyes and call it a day. No one is there to judge you in the sanctuary that is your bathroom -- unless, perhaps, you have an especially nosy pet. 

Try Out New Makeup Looks     It can be therapeutic to think about running through a Sephora with your friends, grabbing anything and everything that suited your fancy and walking out of that door with the sharpest eyeliner and most chiseled cheekbones. Even still, not everyone has $500 dollars or a spare kidney to sell so that they can run willy-nilly and do that sort of thing. So what do you do instead? Use what you already have! Chances are, if you have the kind of impulse control that I do, you have plenty of makeup that is just sitting on your counter, waiting to have a purpose. You can give it that purpose now that you have a clean and fresh face! Dig out that obnoxious pink lipstick and smack it on. Apply as much highlighter as will physically go on your face. If there is something that you usually save for special occasions, use it anyway. Don’t be afraid to try new things and fail, then try again. This is a perfect time to go through every single item of makeup you have and try it on, just for the fun of it. If you find something unexpected that looks really good on you, congratulations -- make a point to wear it in the future. Conversely, if you find something that either has expired or no longer sparks joy as it did when you bought it, Marie Kondo it straight out of your life and start with a fresher slate. Just remember to wash all of the makeup off when you’re done, no matter its final fate.

Nailed It     I think you can tell where this section is going by the terrible pun I’ve made. Treat yourself to a fancy mani/pedi this spring break. First, make sure your hands and feet are nice and exfoliated; I personally like this homemade coffee body scrub, which includes easily available yet exfoliating coffee grounds. After that, use your favorite lotion to make everything nice and smooth. Finally, break out the polish and start painting! With the arrival of spring, now’s a better time than ever to choose a bright color, or even to put a fun design on your nails if you’re so artistically inclined. Just remember to have a friend help out when you have to paint with your non-dominant hand, or else it may very well turn out shakier than you might like. 


                                                                  Image Credit to Pixabay

Paint With The Colors of the Dye Box     As the seasons change from winter to spring, your hair color can change to… whatever you want it to be! The possibilities are endless, whether you want to make a more permanent change or simply try something out until the next wash. If your environment permits it, try something bold and vivid, or maybe put in some subtle highlights if that’s all you can do. Whatever your goal and persuasion, don’t be afraid to try something new; if you end up making a choice of color that isn’t the best, it’ll be long gone before you go back.

Get in the Kitchen!     Now that the outside of your body is nice and taken care of, the inside of your body deserves the same treatment! Give your body and mind a treat. If you have the know-how and desire to make something big, baking a cake or cooking up a big meal for some friends can be a fun way to spend an evening. However, if you’re not in the mood for an undertaking that grand, there are plenty of tasty recipes that just involve throwing ingredients into a cup and popping it into the microwave for a minute or two. My personal favorites is a deep dish cookie recipe. If you want to go the healthier route, brew yourself up a cup of tea and indulge in a bowl of fresh fruit with some pieces of dark chocolate thrown in for good measure.

Read a Book Before Bed      Instead of staring at a bright screen from a computer or phone and staying up way later than you should, why not wind down at the end of the night with a good book? Go gallivanting through the halls of your local library and find the perfect one, then cuddle up in lots of fluffy blankets and get to reading. The possibilities for what you can read are endless, and over spring break, you’ll have plenty of time to get embroiled in the plot and/or learn something new before it’s back to reading textbooks.

Good Night!      Now that you’re not being kept up with work, now’s a good time to get everything back in order, and that means your sleep schedule too. Cuddle up in comfy pajamas and don’t be afraid to grab a stuffed animal or six to join you in bed. Put on whatever white noise or incense you might like the most and turn the nights down nice and low, just to make the mood even nicer and more calming. After doing all of the tips mentioned before, the final one is to try to go to bed early enough and get up early enough to get a good 8 hours of sleep, even if you don’t have anything to do the next day. With that kind of rest fueling your body bit by bit, you’ll be more prepared to take on any challenges at the end of spring break!