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Discipline is Self Care

During exam season, I always find myself going through so many emotions. From the flashes of stress because of what feels like a lack of preparation, to feeling an emotional high after finishing exams. 

Most often, what I find the hardest is that it’s tough for me to strike a balance between my self-care and my studying. Especially during the long breaks (i.e., Reading Week), I never know what’s a ‘good amount’ of studying is, but I know that I deserve that week-long break. I also know that I have a lot of things that I want to accomplish within that break. During regular classes, I find myself procrastinating more than I’d like to, but then other times, I find myself so deep into schoolwork that I don’t know how to get out. 

Currently, I’m still trying to find my balance. What resonated with me the most during my journey to find balance is something my friend said. She told me that discipline can be self-care. We’re only ever heard that self-care is about taking time to do something you love – be it facemasks and baths, or reading a book while listening to music. We never hear about or see self-care as part of a daily routine. We are never shown that self-care can be how we can stick to promises we made to ourselves, or doing little things every day (like flossing) that make us feel better about ourselves. 

For me, I find that if I don’t stick to my routines, every part of my day is off. So now, I’m trying to make sure that part of my everyday routine is a time when I’m being productive, especially on my schoolwork. I’m trying to reinforce to myself that if I’m disciplined in this now, I can give myself more time in the future to have fun with my friends, and I will be less stressed out about my next deadline. 

Now, self-care looks different for everyone. Self-care, for me, is continuously reminding myself to stay on top of things; my self-care is routines. Hopefully, I can encourage you to turn your self-care into one of discipline if it’s not already there. To create a version of self-care that has balance and boundaries, self-care that puts you and future you first.

Nicole is in her undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta, double majoring in Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies. On campus, you can find her volunteering for many organizations, or studying with friends, and getting coffee. During her free time, she loves to sing karaoke, watch cheesy rom-coms, and take all the naps. Find her on Instagram @nicoledegrano! 
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