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Need to Reset After a Stressful Week? Month? School Year?

Girl, same. The week after spring break always has me wishing for another week off. As we adjust back to school and (hopefully) post midterms season, professors seem to be big on filling the month of April with papers, group projects, and bringing overall chaos to my calendar. Not all of these sunny San Diego days will be spent at the beach, and I cry a little bit when I look at my weekly schedule..for the next 5 weeks.

When it comes to school, the only way out is through. I can’t enjoy the summer sun until I finish spring semester strong. So here’s some self care tips I’ve been practicing to keep my mental health in check..and make sure I crush all my assignments! Summer starts on May 18th…but who’s counting right?

First: no phone. Shut it all the way off, leave it in another room, and completely disconnect. There’s been so many days where I am in a productive mood and ready to cross things off my ‘to do’ lists, and then my phone goes off once and I find myself surfing for hours on end. This doesn’t help me feel better at all. In fact, I usually feel worse because all that time was wasted and I STILL have a hundred things on my ‘to do’ lists. Physically leaving the phone at home or in another room has seriously boosted my productivity. Seems like an obvious change to make but it’s hard to break the habit of having my phone on my body at all times.

Photo by Adrian on Unsplash

Second: go somewhere new. It doesn’t have to be far from campus or your home, but changing up your scenery can make a significant impact. As someone who has only lived in San Diego since January, I am constantly looking for new cafes, restaurants, or outdoor spaces where I can catch some sun and still get my schoolwork done. Even on days I don’t feel like leaving my bed (today was one of those days), getting some fresh air and being in a new environment will work wonders. I got so much done today and I feel a lot better for it. There’s always somewhere new to discover, and you don’t have to go alone! Bring a friend. They definitely keep me in check when I pulled out my phone for a little too long when I’m supposed to be studying.

Third: Find something you can practice everyday to bring you peace. Even if it’s for a few on a walk to class, or a few hours after a long week, it’s important to find relaxation anywhere you can. For me, I found it in my playlists. Even though my walk from my house to school is literally 5 minutes, I make sure I have a playlist that brings me joy when any song plays for those 5 beautiful minutes. Getting the right song in your headphones can completely change your mood, and it’s something I can have everyday. Thank you Spotify!

At the end of the day, it feels great to be productive, but it’s just as important to make sure you’re not mentally exhausted. Building a sustainable routine to keep you feeling relaxed while still killing those class projects is the ultimate goal. I’ll admit, there’s some days that are just worse than others no matter what I do, but for 5 minutes a day, I know I can relax, continue listening to nothing but Khalid’s new album, and prepare myself for the final 5 weeks of spring semester. Remember to take care of yourself, whatever that means to you. You got this!

Alexa is an Art and Journalism student at San Diego State University. A true California native, she loves sunshine, being outdoors, and road trips. Her passions include photography, activism, traveling, writing, drawing, and all things creative. She is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, the Photo Editor for The Daily Aztec Newspaper, and currently feeding her caffeine addiction as a barista. You can probably find me behind my camera, on Twitter, or perfecting my latte art at Starbucks.