As college students, we’re tasked with balancing many things in our lives – such as school work, jobs, hanging out with friends, and everything in between. Getting into a routine in which you always have to finish things on time can cause you to forget to take care of yourself. Believe me, I used to forget to eat or take a break from writing assignments many times during my college career. I’ve realized after a while that self-care was one of the things that would keep me sane until I got that diploma. Recently, as school (and my undergraduate studies) is coming to an end while the snowball of final projects and essays is forming, I realize that a self-care day is way over due. Here’s what I do when I need to unplug from my hectic life for a day!
Wake Up and Get Ready Early
The first thing I try to do is wake myself up early! I usually let the sun wake me up naturally because my apartment’s structure lets in a lot of light. Waking up early may seem like a huge struggle, especially when sleeping in is quite tempting on a day off. Don’t get me wrong, I sleep in on some of my self-care days. But, living in a tourist-filled city makes waking up early worth it. Whenever I usually get up, there’s already tons of people and a bustle of cars outside which can cause for some sensory overload. By waking up early, I can take the time to get ready, eat some breakfast, and do my makeup all without worrying about being late for something. Plus, it’s extra fun when I can listen to bopping music or stream my favorite shows while getting ready for the day.
Take a Morning Stroll
Taking a morning stroll is quite soothing. When I used to live in Oregon and California, I loved waking up early and walking through the cool fog to grab coffee or food. If I got out early enough around 6 or 7 in the morning, there would be little to no bustle of traffic and people. Staying in Hawai’i allowed me to do the same thing, except I’m lucky to embrace the warmth and stroll to a nearby beach everyday. Watching the sunrise and sunsets are always my favorite parts of the day, and doing that while chilling on the sand with a book in hand was top tier for me.
Coffee DATE With MYSELF
Coffee is one of my favorite things in the world, and I love the peacefulness of uncrowded cafes. Some of my favorite cafes are Da HI Brew and Brew & Foam in the Waikiki area. Although I haven’t been able to sit inside cafes sometimes due to the pandemic, it was still worthwhile to take the time to walk and talk stories with the baristas to start my day. I’ll admit, I’m basic because I always ask for iced lattes, but there’s nothing wrong with liking something popular. Iced coffee just raises both my caffeine and serotonin levels.
Meditate and Breathe
When I return home, I find time in my self-care day to meditate and breathe. I usually do some meditation exercises I’ve learned from a class I’ve taken before. I lay out my trusty yoga mat and a pillow to sit on. One of my go-to meditations is the loving kindness meditation where I close my eyes and visualize sending positive thoughts to myself, a close one, an acquaintance, someone I don’t like, and finally, the universe. This clears my mind and sends some T.L.C to myself and others from a distance.
Unplug From the Digital World
This is something I actually do immediately after starting my day. I stay off my school emails and social media accounts. It’s out of sight, out of mind for me. It can be easy to make a habit of checking emails and social media accounts literally everyday, but it’s nice to enjoy the real world once in a while.
Cook Something New
If I’m not feeling like getting takeout for lunch or dinner, I like to test my cooking skills and cook something new. I’ve been recently inspired by chefs on TikTok showcasing their recipes in a matter of a few minutes. It’s always an experience recreate dishes I’ve never thought to do before. If I manage to follow through with a new recipe well enough to make Gordon Ramsay not scream at me, then i’m solid.
Skincare And SELf-AFFIRMATIONS
Lastly, taking care of my body is loving the vessel that allows me to experience life everyday. Skincare is one way to do that. I can use some face masks, paint my nails, or recite some self-love affirmations about my body. These not only ups my physical appearance, but also make my perceptions about myself positive.
Self-care is something that everyone should incorporate into their lives. I’ve been someone who let stress and anxiety take over my whole life because I didn’t manage school and my own needs well before. Now that Ii’m onto bigger and better things once I finish undergrad, I find that I need to make self-care days more frequent as I begin working or attending grad school. I hope this article inspires you to have a self-care day for yourself because you deserve to treat yo’ self after your hard work!