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I’ll admit, at the beginning of my freshman year I neglected having a routine for maintaining my mental health. Often, I got caught up with trying to get accustomed to a new rigorous workload as well meeting new people and trying to maintain a social life. It wasn’t long before the feelings of homesickness and mental exhaustion started to creep in, and I realized the necessity of having a “self-care reset routine.” Here are four dorm-friendly ways to pamper yourself and feel mentally refreshed. 

1. Meditation

It wasn’t until recently that I started meditating. I had the notion that meditation would take too much time away from my busy schedule and could probably be better spent napping. Now I regret that I hadn’t started doing it earlier! To incorporate more meditation into your daily life, create a schedule of when, how long and how often you want to mediate. I recommend starting small with five minutes of meditation once or twice a week and see how you feel. For some guided meditations, there are many short videos available on YouTube as well as several apps that are beginner-friendly. 

2. Pamper yourself

Sometimes, a good-old fashioned face mask and mani-pedi does the trick for making me feel refreshed. To keep the possible messes to a minimum and take up less storage space, I like using sheet masks. There are many on Amazon that sell large quantities of sheet masks for a cheap price. Another option is doing something as small as taking a long shower  and using an exfoliating scrub. Both are cheap ways to make me feel taken care of and like I’m checking in  with myself. 

woman with towel on her head using lotion on shoulders
Photo by Andrea Picquadio from Canva

3. Organize your Room

When I was younger, I hated cleaning my room, often citing that “messiness is a sign of intelligence.” While I can’t confirm nor deny the validity of this statement, I must admit that cleaning has become a great stress reliever for me. Often, when my room is cleanest I’m more likely to want to do my work. In a dorm, especially, it makes me feel better that even my small space can still be a calm refuge. 

4. Watch a comforting movie/show

An often underrated option for relaxing is simply curling up in bed and watching a comforting movie. For me, I love watching movies from my childhood as a reminder to always stay connected to my inner child. A lot of times, when I haven’t seen a movie or show, I am too invested in understanding the plot. When I want to relax, it’s best to watch something more “low-stakes” where you can appreciate what you’re watching while giving yourself room to relax your mind. Some recommendations are “The Great British Bake Off” or any Disney/Pixar movie.

Regardless of what you choose to do, I hope you make it a habit of setting aside some time for self-care. You deserve it!

Sachi Shukla

Cincinnati '23

Sachi is a second-year majoring in Neurobiology with a minor in Sociology. She is passionate about mental health, women's health, and social justice. In the future, she hopes to go to medical school and eventually become a gynecologist.
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