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‘Tis The Season To Self-Care

First of all, if you’re reading this then that means you’ve gotten through the first semester of this academic year, and you deserve a big pat on the back! While it seems frustrating that you’ve finished your classes only to be plunged back into a pool of coursework deadlines, looming exam dates and the overall stress that is the holiday period, the one thing you shouldn’t do is neglect yourself. And this is why we’ve called for the essential practice that is self-care – and by that we don’t necessarily mean splurging on a ton of facemasks and bath bombs. As spoken by a truly wise woman, Audre Lorde, the concept of self-care is “not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation”. Self-care is meant to make you feel good at the end of the day, through whichever form you choose. It can mean taking a break from the excessive stimuli of life (e.g. social and global media), or finally taking on that hobby you’ve longed to start. We’ve rounded up some possible things to try this festive period to ease the pressures of student life and the holidays, so that you can practice self-care mindfully.

1) Make practical and productive lists of things to do, so you can stop stressing about them when you fall asleep

2) Laugh more

3) Go for more walks, or just spend more time outdoors in general

4) Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to social gatherings if you don’t feel like going

5) Binge watch that Netflix show you’ve wanted to start – and don’t feel guilty

6) Put your phone away for an hour or two – you’ll be surprised at how much work you can get done in that time

7) Reach out to an old friend – or finally arrange that meet-up that you’ve been discussing for months

8) Try some meditation – start with 10 minutes every morning

9) Have your favourite snack

10) On that note, stop punishing yourself if you slip up on your diet

11) Let go of any toxic relationships or any relationships involving too much emotional labour on your end (this is super important!)

12) Try some light exercise that will take your mind off things – exercises involving repetitive actions like swimming can work wonders

13) Hug a pet or, if you don’t have one, your friend’s pet

14) Make tiny goals and stick to them everyday – things like promising to floss your teeth which will actually be good for you

15) Take up a new hobby, or sign up for a new class

16) Watch your favourite film, guilty pleasure or not

17) If you follow the news and political/tragedy stories overwhelm you a little, don’t be afraid to switch off from media for a while. The human brain wasn’t made to process tragedy on a global scale

18) Buy post-it notes and write down everything you can remember (as a revision technique)

19) Listen to your favourite album on repeat

20) Listen to your gut

21) Stop comparing yourselves to others. For every negative thought you harbour, repeat one good thing you like about yourself

22) Don’t put pressure on yourself to get the most expensive gifts for loved ones – they love you nonetheless and would probably want you to look after your wallet

23) Draw or doodle more

24) Sing loudly in the shower

25) Tidy up your workspace a little, hoovering is optional

26) Keep your thoughts in a diary or journal

27) Sit on your chair and do nothing for 10 minutes everyday (Oprah Winfrey does this!)

28) Take a nice, long nap

29) Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, physically or mentally. Your body is a temple after all!

 

And finally from the team at Her Campus KCL, good luck with your exams and essays, and have a lovely holiday!

Liz is a 22 year old English Literature student at KCL. She currently resides in Hampstead with her boyfriend, and has a tabby cat named Luna. Liz loves French New Wave cinema, 90's shoegaze music, floral design and hoarding beauty products. You'll probably catch her in a quiet bookshop with a hot chocolate, dreaming at a Curzon cinema or feasting at a dim sum joint in Chinatown.  
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