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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

One of my greatest resolutions going into 2023 was to prioritize myself and my well-being. As we near April and the demands of the spring semester are starting to take a toll, prioritizing myself and staying grounded has been challenging. This shouldn’t be a daunting feat, though. In what world should academics and the hustle of everyday life come before our well-being? Girlbosses need breaks too. That’s why I’ve outlined five *simple* ways that you can start prioritizing yourself and stay grounded in the thick of the spring semester.

1. In my ‘DND’ era

This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to avoid unnecessary distractions in your life. Once I turned my phone on “Do Not Disturb,” I will never turn back. Opening my phone to so many different notifications and distractions can be so overwhelming, and having my phone constantly light up while doing homework was always a losing battle. If you’re not ready to fully be on do not disturb, I recommend creating a “custom focus,” where you can pick and choose which notifications you do not want to immediately receive.

2. Journaling — yes, journaling

I know, I know, everyone and their mother has talked about the benefits of journaling. I personally could never stay committed to journaling every single day, so I have devised my own strategy for journaling that has been extremely helpful and low-commitment. In my nightstand drawer I have two journals: one for memories, and one for whenever I need to dump out my feelings. Since freshman year, I’ve journaled each day I would want to remember — from move-in days, basketball games, formals, to fun trips with friends. I love flipping through the pages and reliving all of my favorite memories. My second journal is for whenever I need it. If I feel overwhelmed, I will write anything that is spinning in my mind on the pages. Journaling does not have to be a big commitment!

3. Being selfish

If we want to prioritize ourselves, we need to be a little selfish. This was hard for me to accept at first, but this doesn’t mean you need to ghost all of your friends. I have always been the type of person to blindly follow other people’s plans and decisions, never voicing my own opinion or going in the direction that I wanted to. This semester especially, I have tried to do what’s best for myself. Whether it’s choosing to stay in for self-care on a Friday night, vocalizing my opinions more, taking myself out for coffee, or chasing the opportunities that I have always been scared to pursue, I have learned that being selfish can be one of the most beneficial things I can do for myself.

4. Getting in your 8 hours

Establishing a solid sleep schedule is crucial. If I want to be my best self and accomplish my goals each day, I need to have the proper amount of rest to do so. I love going to bed a bit earlier so that I can wake up and start my day off strong, but it is important to establish a sleep routine that fits your schedule and is sustainable (us girlies need our beauty sleep).

5. Working out

Although this might not be for everyone, one of the biggest changes that I have made this year is going to the gym consistently (almost) every day. I will not lie, getting up at 7:00 a.m. to make sure I get my hot girl walk in was not always ideal, but it has become one of my favorite parts of my daily routine. I’ve even started to pick up some weights at the gym, which has made me feel more stronger and confident in myself than ever before. Going to the gym has become an outlet for me and a way to effectively manage my stress, to the point where going a day or two without it makes me feel out of sync. If doing a solo-gym workout is not your speed, I recommend going on a walk to Horsebarn Hill, working out with a friend, or trying the countless free (!!) workout classes at UConn’s recreation center.

Whenever I am in a slump, these tips all help me get into a routine, and most importantly, remind me how to prioritize myself. Amidst the stress and hecticness of a spring semester, it is important to stay grounded and remember that your well-being is the utmost priority, above any assignment or grade.

Emily Rostkowski is a senior at the University of Connecticut studying math and math education. She is a contributing writer to HerCampus UConn who enjoys writing on culture, fitness, lifestyle, and college topics. Aside from this, Emily is pursuing research in her field and has worked as a research assistant this past summer. She will begin full-time student teaching this spring in a high school mathematics classroom. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, working out, eating ice cream, trying new coffee shops, and attending UConn sporting events. Most importantly, she is a hot girl walk, Taylor Swift, and sugar cookie latte enthusiast.