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Wellness

5 Out-of-the-Norm Post-Graduation Self-Care Ideas

To my fellow seniors, you must understand the feeling of seeing that we only have one month left until we bid our college lives goodbye. It’s a mix of bliss, relief, happiness, and joy but also worry and sadness. For me, it’s more so the relief of being able to finish college mixed with the anxiety associated with facing the future and stepping into the “real” version of adulthood. At this point, we recall the days that we barely made through and also the days that were too much fun for the passage of time. After all we’ve been through, no matter where we’re going after college, we should take the time to indulge ourselves and rest for better years will come with some time off. Apart from the usual post-graduate activities and time off, here are five ways you can spend indulge in self-care over the summer.

Related Article: 5 Ways to Successfully Transition From Surviving College to Surviving the ‘Real World’

1. Attend a Health and Wellness Retreats

Health and wellness retreats are known for their solemn and holistic activities that prioritize the withdrawal of oneself from the usual instances of life, allowing you to focus on aspects of yourself that you may be neglecting such as mindfulness, fitness, physical health, nutrition and mental health. Perfect for new graduates who want to enter the world of adulthood with a lighter outlook on life and a well-rounded well-being. There are multiple types to choose from plus you can bring with you remotely anyone, but attending wellness retreats by yourself is also not a bad idea as these retreats are also curated for you to explore the wonders of different cultures by meeting like-minded individuals from all over the world. Some of the more common wellness retreats can be found in tropical destinations such as Bali in Indonesia, Tulum in Mexico, and Thailand.

2. Travel by yourself

I feel like traveling by yourself is something that has been set in stone for young women to try at least once in their lives. I’ve seen this written on so many articles, bucket lists, and challenges; that’s why it’s been one of my must-dos for 2021. Personally, I’ve traveled by myself internationally and locally multiple times, but never to arrive at a destination for the purpose of being by myself. This year, I’m giving myself the chance to pursue this goal because I find that solo travel is a great time to pace yourself, invest time in valuable experiences that you want and not what others want for you, learn more about yourself, try new things and meet new people. There are hundreds of online guides for traveling solo in at least every country in the world so pick a destination and start planning!

3. Road trip across the country

Taking road trips is usually a family or friend group affair, but why not try driving across the country by yourself? I know, this sounds super risky, but risk will only be something you look back at once you’ve taken the first step toward accomplishing this trip. Doesn’t it sound nice to jam to your entire music playlist as you drive across the country, visiting destinations you may never have seen and experience the great unknown? If that seems too risky, a friend, significant other or relative can also accompany you to make things more memorable. 

4. Volunteer locally or abroad

During these times, there are millions of people who are in need of help and there are probably hundreds of organizations out there that are welcoming volunteers to help them mitigate the processes of helping those who are in need. As someone who was passionate about outreach and volunteer work in high school, I find that the hustle and bustle of college life made me too busy for any in-person volunteer work, so now that I’m finishing college, lending a helping hand is something I want to take part in. There are so many volunteer abroad programs being offered online and with more research, several local volunteer programs as well. Spend this summer with fulfilling work and make people smile.

5. Stay on a tropical island for two weeks or more (if you can) 

This last idea is a bit more challenging than the rest as it requires more planning, can be costly depending on your accommodations, and can be more nerve-wracking than the rest. Because of the pandemic, I have seen more and more people temporarily moving to tropical destinations to spend their work from “home” and I must say that I am jealous. For a start, if work permits you to work from home, you can look into local destinations where you can relax and still take work calls and assignments. If not possible, look into the possibility of taking a week off work or simply a weekend off to get your mind away from things. 

Related Article: You Don’t Need to Have Your Life Figured Out After College

We’re entering the last point of our college lives, and as you look back at the memories, remember to thank yourself for the last few years spent in utter bliss, discomfort and growth. Forgive yourself for the missed chances, let go of the what-ifs, embrace the unknown and enter a new world. It’s okay to be scared and it’s alright if you don’t have it all figured out. What’s important is that you focus on yourself because there’s no other time than now to take that extra step for your well-being.

Dominique Bernardino

George Mason University '21

Originally from the Philippines, Dominique "Niki" Bernardino is a rising junior pursuing a double degree in Public Relations and Film at George Mason University. When she isn't managing her social media internship or working as a multimedia editor, she enjoys watching sappy rom-coms, listening to k-pop, and exploring the internet.
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