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Expectations vs. Relaxation: How to Practice Self-Care During 2020

2020 has arguably been a challenging and confusing year for many people. We are living in unprecedented times, which you probably already know, and we’re still trying to navigate living in an ever changing world. For college students especially, COVID-19 has turned our entire world upside down, mainly due to the transition from in-person to online classes. Virtual learning can be more stressful in itself, let alone with the added pressures that come with living in a pandemic. During times like these, it’s important to take a minute, or more, to relax your mind and practice self-care. I know there’s a lot going on, so here are four tips you can add to your self-care routine to make 2020 a little brighter.

Clean, Clean, Clean

Think of the space in which you live and work as your mind – if your space is cluttered, then so are your thoughts. Go through all the papers, clothes, shoes, what have you, and open up your room! Let in the light so that you can have a relaxing and productive personal space.

Watch Your Favorite Movie or Show from Your Childhood

Times are hard, and it’s understandable to want to reminisce on the past and relive some of your favorite memories. Use this extra time indoors to rewatch some of your favorite shows or movies from your childhood. Reflecting on moments from the past will not only make you feel hopeful for what the future has in store, but also grateful for all that you’ve experienced in life so far.

Reach Out to Family and Friends

Given all that we’ve been through over the year, now is the time to cherish our family and friends. Talk to them on the phone, text, Facetime, even write a letter if you have to!  Reach out to them and let them know that they mean the world to you. Find ways to meet up with them while still practicing social distancing. 2020 has taught us a lot of lessons about life and enjoying every moment we have, so don’t neglect the relationships that mean the most to you. Contact the ones you care about and let them know how much you love them.

Don’t Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself

Understandably, we’re all trying to keep our daily routines as normal as possible. However, we have to acknowledge that we are living in unprecedented times. Just know that it is okay to feel unsure, confused, or nervous, and that many people are feeling the same way. Very few people have everything figured out in life right now, so don’t overwork yourself trying to make it seem like you do. Take it day by day – eventually you will figure out your rhythm, and it will all fall into place.

This year has truly been one unlike any other, and everyone’s experience has been different. Therefore, everyone’s idea or practice of taking care of themselves is going to be different. Do what you need to do for you the remainder of this year. Not everything is going to be perfect, and I’m sure we all are aware of this by now, but just know that all is well and that next semester, we’re going up.

Simone Nixon is a junior biology major, chemistry minor from Maryland. She enjoys telling the stories of the world around her and hearing the stories of others. She plans to pursue a career in the dental field.
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