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Well, it’s that time of the year again- we have two weeks left in the semester, and if you’re like me, it can get overwhelming to which assignments are due when, and that’s not even including everything to do outside of classes. Everything can feel like it’s crowding in pretty quickly, and we all have bad days where we just want to stay in and throw on a Hallmark movie with some popcorn. As finals season fastly approaches, I’m here to encourage you to take a break in between your final projects, presentations, and studying by recommending some of the quickest and best ways to de-stress:

Starting off simple, one of the quickest ways I like to care for myself is by making a warm snack or beverage. Lately, I’ve been really enjoying drinking some homemade apple cider or relaxing with some warm tea. Studying snacks are also nice to munch on while you’re on the grind, so I recommend taking a quick screen break by wandering into the kitchen to find yourself a holiday treat.

Another way I like to take care of myself is by incorporating some downtime in between doing homework (responsibly). One way I’ve been doing this is by playing some of my favorite video games as soon as I get home from school since I have to commute to and from campus every day. I’ve recently gotten back into playing some Genshin Impact, or if I need something with a little more of a competitive spirit, then I’ll do a round of Mario Kart first. Most of my motivation comes, surprisingly, after playing one of these, so I recommend trying it out. Sometimes, all you need is a good adrenaline boost to get you going on your to-do lists.

Since it is the holiday season, while I am working on homework I also like to catch up on my favorite holiday movies, such as Elf or The Nightmare Before Christmas (I like to watch it both during Halloween and Christmas). Depending on what you’re in the mood for, movies can be the perfect thing to throw on while you write a paper, as you know you can get at least two hours worth of work done while enjoying a cute movie at the same time. If you’re in the mood for a comfy movie, I also recommend checking out some of the Studio Ghibli films, as those usually help me feel at peace while working on homework.

The last thing I would recommend for self-care during the end of the semester is finding a good holiday playlist to listen to while you work, as setting the mood through music can often help a lot. If I’m getting some winter cleaning done, I like to throw on upbeat music to push me through getting it done, such as listening to Lizzo while doing the dishes. During the holiday season, I like to listen to my dad’s favorite Christmas playlist that he made, and it just makes me fall in love with the season even more. Whatever type of music you listen to, I recommend doing this all year long, as music is really powerful when it comes to our emotions.

Though these are just some of my self-care tips for the holiday and end of semester season, you could really use these throughout the year, as it’s important to check in with yourself to avoid burning out. We are nearly done with classes, so hang in there for just a few more weeks and remind yourself that winter break is just around the corner.

Alex Warrender

Cal Lutheran '23

Hello, my name is Alex, and I'm the Senior Writing and Editing Director for the Cal Lutheran University chapter. I’m a senior Psychology Major who loves to devour books and write poetry in my spare time. I also love to play D&D and go thrifting when I can.