Refocusing through Self-Care

Finals are nearly upon us, and it is so easy to get dragged into the blinding stress they induce.  I say blinding because it causes many of us to lose track of the big picture and not take care of ourselves.  Self-care is an integral part of staying focused, and it involves a lot more than a face mask. 

True self-care, from my perspective, entails organizing your time to get done what needs to get done while also creating space for physically and mentally healthy practices.  This might mean taking a walk outside or reading about something you are passionate about instead of rapidly scrolling through social media. Remembering what keeps you inspired is so important; how are we supposed to put in our maximum effort after months of exhausting work if we don’t remember what it’s all for?  We have to clear our heads; the mind is so powerful, and we need to treat it as such. 

I have found it very helpful to remember to eat fruits and vegetables, and also avoid caffeine whenever possible.  Keeping your energy up naturally with foods like spinach, blueberries, and quinoa will help keep you from crashing.  Naturally getting a spike of energy helps me, at least, keep my mind clear and focused; caffeine just speeds up my system.  Studying for finals takes significantly more time and effort than the regular week, so it’s important to provide our bodies with energy that lasts.

Sometimes, looking up music I used to love but haven’t listened to in a while helps me refocus. Trying out new music helps, too.  Changing up music can get you out of the headspace that’s causing writer’s block or the block making studying for an exam much more difficult than it likely needs to be.  Changing our mental settings can help change your mental state. Unless we change something, the mental blocks holding us back will likely not shift.  So try a change of music, see what it does.  Get new ideas flowing in and out.

            Try to work out! I cannot emphasize this enough.  The increase in circulation and release of endorphins will rid some of the stress from your system.  It’s known to make people think more clearly and sleep better.  It also has countless other benefits, and why not take this additional help during some of the most stressful days of the year?  It can be a drag to get the energy to do it, but once you do, I promise you won’t regret it!

            So, remember that self-care is important in these next couple of weeks.  Make healthy choices, even if they take more time and energy than you would like.  They will end up saving you time and energy in the end!  When things are looking grim, find ways to stay inspired.  Indulge in the arts and appreciate creatives.  Watch a show that makes you laugh.  Find what gives you energy, and dedicate a few minutes each day to those things.  The pile of work won’t seem so big anymore, and you might find that you have new ideas circulating.