Tips for Spring Self Care

Spring has sprung! Well, maybe. The less-than-pleasant weather that we’ve been having may make us wonder what season it actually is, but the academic stress levels have definitely reached those typically associated with the late spring semester. Taking a break from work may feel like it’s impossible at this point, but a brief respite from the books can make all the difference. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re staying happy and healthy while also being academically successful.

 

1) Soak up some sun

Our skin cells produce vitamin D through a reaction that occurs when UV-B rays come in contact with the skin, and it is thought that this vitamin protects us against osteoporosis, heart disease, several cancers, and various other ailments. The problem is that anyone who lives in more northern regions (hello, Ohio!) doesn’t come into contact with any UV-B rays during the winter because the sun never gets high enough in the sky for those rays to enter our atmosphere. As a result, most people enter the spring season with dramatically low vitamin D levels, and while supplements can help, many experts believe that the levels provided by these supplements aren’t enough. The solution? Once spring arrives, spend at least ten minutes at midday (between 10 am and 2 pm) letting your skin soak up some sun! This means bare skin with no sunscreen, so you can also start working on your summer tan.

2) Take a break

I know, this sounds like it’s basically impossible at this point. You have way too much to do to take a break! However, I’m not suggesting that you take a break for hours, or even for the twenty minutes it would take to watch an episode of Parks and Recreation (although that’s not a bad idea if you can spare the time). Just take a break that’s long enough to let your brain reset a little bit and give you some much-needed space from your work. Close your books and computer, and just stand up to do a little stretching. Respond to your mother’s text messages. Walk down a flight of stairs and back up. Taking a break doesn’t mean you have to shove everything aside completely. Take a moment to breathe and re-center, and then get back to work.

3) Share a meal with friends

The odds are good that you’re making your way into Peirce at least once a day. Find some friends that can have a meal at the same time as you and agree to have a stress-free breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Within your conversations, try to focus on the positive things happening in your lives rather than complaining or stressing about all of the work you have to do. A good mindset is key when it comes to self-care, and having an opportunity to take your mind off of your stressors can be super helpful. Plus, this is a great way to make time for socialization when you’re otherwise extremely busy.

4) Open a window

Okay, so you legitimately have zero time to do any of the above things. Sometimes it’s just like that. If you don’t have a moment to spare, try to at least find a space to work that has a window that you can open. When the warm spring weather finally arrives—and I promise that it will—this can help to lift your spirits while you write papers and study for exams. The fresh air will be a pleasant change from the stale air that’s been trapped inside all winter, and it will hopefully reinvigorate your enthusiasm for finishing the semester. Summer is on the way!

 

These are just a couple of the things you can do in order to stay happy and healthy during these last few weeks of the semester. There are plenty of others—getting enough sleep, eating fruits and vegetables, and so on—so make sure that you’re maintaining your overall health and wellness. Your grades will thank you in the end.​

Image Credit: Feature, 1, 2, 3, 4