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Ah, the new year–a time characterized by resolutions, clean slates, and hopeful beginnings... or at least that’s how pop-culture tends to define it. For me though, I’ve always associated the new year with a new school semester; good-bye Fall, hello to the new Spring classes! With that, I think it’s really important to start the Spring semester off on a high note, no matter the circumstances. Do I love the classes I’m enrolled in this semester? Debatable. Do I love the situation of another online semester? Even more debatable. It doesn’t matter though; these are the circumstances we all have to endure, so might as well make the most of it! Below are some of my personal habits and tips I like to be mindful of to stay in the best headspace possible:

Use a f#ck!ng planner

Or at least utilize the calendar and notes apps that are already on your phone. Sure, we can keep a mental list of all our assignments and commitments stored in our heads. But trust me, it feels way less cluttered and way more organized when everything you have to do is physically displayed on a planner or calendar type of thing. It just takes away the stress and clutter of trying to remember when you should start working on that huge project or how your work schedule collides with your school schedule.

Keep your sh!t organized

This works in tandem with my first point … just stay organized. Set a New Year’s resolution to keep yourself put together, whatever that means for you. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but once you get in the habit of staying organized, you won’t be able to picture your life any other way (or at least that’s how it’s been for me … now I feel like MESSES = STRESSES). Some of the things I do to stay “in the zone” is that I make my bed every morning, make sure my desk is uncluttered before going to bed, and utilize my planner to make sure I’m checking everything off my to-do list/am aware of upcoming events and commitments. These are just some of the things I do; write down goals that are actually attainable for YOU and hold yourself accountable!

Write down your goal(s) of the week

When I physically write things down, it feels like a permanent commitment that I have to hold myself to. Especially when I write my goals in my oh-so-holy planner, it feels like a promise that I’ve made to myself and absolutely, under any circumstances, cannot break. Whether your goal is to work out, cook yourself a nice meal, go on a walk, FaceTime a friend, or literally anything else, try and give yourself an opportunity to feel like you’ve accomplished something great!

Try not to drive yourself insane

Since everything is online again and COVID is still obviously present, it’s very easy to accidentally not leave home for a few days at a time… like literally, sometimes, I go outside and think, “Oh, when was the last time I felt real, fresh air?” Oops. Go on walks, do your schoolwork outside, take a trip to the grocery store, pick up some takeout from your local businesses, take a hike, or whatever else your heart desires (and is safe). Just try not to go stir-crazy sitting at home all day; you will feel so refreshed from all the mind-clutter of school/work/HW/exams/projects if you give it the space to be!

Remember, you are not alone!

Mental health is ALWAYS important, but I know that a lot of people have been especially struggling lately. It’s a new semester, which might mean uncertainty about how difficult and time consuming your classes will be. Not to mention, we’re venturing into round three of Zoom University. Times are tough, and your emotions are allowed. It’s okay to feel sad, frustrated, stressed, etc., but try not to keep those feelings bottled up inside you. Know you are seen, you are heard, and you are surrounded by people who truly care for you and want the best for you. If you’re not comfortable speaking to your friends and family about personal matters (sometimes it’s just easier talking to a stranger), know that there are several online resources and hotlines that are readily available to everyone. Also, check with your school and see if they offer Psychological Services (as LMU does). Just take care of yourself–mind, body, and soul–and let others help you get there if you need it. You can get through this!!!

Rachel is a sophomore marketing major at Loyola Marymount University with a passion for creating things and connecting people together. With Her Campus @ LMU, she hopes she can share a little bit of her heart and create content that people can enjoy!
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