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From walking out the Piano Row doors everyday and immediately stepping foot onto the busy, Boylston sidewalk where I end up running into someone I know before I can even make it to Tatte, it has been a drastic adjustment to come home to the quiet streets of my neighborhood where it seems like almost no one is out except for the morning dog walk. With my sister still in Boston and nowhere to go with friends since the temperature has dropped and another stay-at-home order has been put in effect, the large amount of free time on my hands with little to do besides school has been overwhelming to say the least. However, I guess there’s some good that has come from it: time to prioritize self-care.

With a busy schedule of balancing school, a job, clubs, and making sure to catch up with friends when possible, I think many college students can relate to the need for things to slow down sometimes, even if we aren’t aware of how close we might be coming to burnout. Since beginning college, I have found that I always have the feeling I need to be doing something. With so much time in quarantine during last year’s spring semester, this feeling only intensified when we returned to school with the feeling that I needed to make up for the amount of time COVID had taken away from all of us. 

However, this semester, I learned the importance of taking time for yourself, even in the smallest of ways. During the first months of being back in Boston, I packed my schedule to the point where I felt like I didn’t even have enough time to think about anything besides my next destination or my next task to complete on my mental to-do list for the day. This left me feeling both physically and mentally exhausted every night. Although it took me too long to realize the effect this had on my health, I have worked since then to make sure to practice self-care. With so much free time at home now, I want to share my tips with you.

Working Out

Something I became extremely passionate about over quarantine and through the summer was working out. With so much time on my hands, I made sure to work out almost everyday, and I began to see changes in my body because of it. I felt more energized and confident because of it. However, coming to school, I found the only free time I had to work out was if I woke up early, and it left working out feeling like a chore most of the time for me. I lost my passion for it and because of that, I felt myself losing a lot of the benefits that I previously received from it. However, coming back home with a freed-up schedule, it has become something I can put the time and energy into now, which has reminded me of all the reasons I love staying active. Whenever I’m not in the mood to exercise, I remind myself of the feeling that I get once I finish my workout, which really helps to push me when I’m not feeling it. However, it’s also important to make sure to listen to your body and take time to let yourself rest.

Music

While I have always enjoyed listening to music, lately I have found a new love and appreciation for it. For the past week being at home, I have been making playlists in my room or listening to my playlists in the car on repeat. I have found myself not only resonating with a lot of artists’ lyrics, but also discovering more about the music artists, as well as myself as I listen to these songs. Also, music is one of my favorite ways to connect with others. Exchanging songs and making collaborative playlists with my friends has been an entirely new way of connecting with other people. Music is something that can be so personal and can tell you a lot about someone. Also, I’m always up for a jam session in the car.

Cooking!

While being home is most definitely an adjustment, one of the things I am so grateful for is being able to have a kitchen. My mom and I have been buying a lot of produce and trying new meals everyday, which has been a great way to both spend time with my mom and eat delicious food!

Online Shopping

I consider Black Friday and Cyber Monday two of the most dangerous days for my bank account. While my purchases may not be the most ideal and something I regret at the end of the month, I think I can call myself a shopaholic with shopping also being very therapeutic, even if my wallet doesn’t agree!

Taking Advantage of Being Home

Something I have appreciated a lot is going to the small businesses and shops in my neighborhood. With a lot of the people always making sure to support the small businesses in my area, I have had a great time browsing and finding cute things at the garden shop, neighborhood bakery, and gift shops around me. Also, it has been nice to be able to enjoy the amazing carryout from the restaurants in the area!

Allison
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