The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Each year, November is such a slump. September has lots of sunshine, everyone is excited for a new school year and to be back on campus. October gets cooler, but reading week allows us to catch our breath, and there’s always Thanksgiving and Halloween celebrations to look forward to. November is just a stressful month of what can feel like endless studying for exams, writing papers and finishing projects. A buffer period is necessary to get from point A to B, or in this case, from November to the end of the semester. As we get close, but not close
enough, to the end of the semester, here are some ways that you can incorporate self-care and mental health resources into your routine.
As the days get shorter, many people feel fatigued and notice changes in mood. When the morning is cold and your bed is warm, it is tempting to press the snooze button until the last possible minute before class. Waking up earlier in the day is the best way to make the most of the little daylight we get at this time of year. Getting more Vitamin D from the sun can improve your sleep schedule and overall mood. Changing your sleep schedule is easier said than done.
One of the best quick tips to prevent oversleeping is to put your alarm on the other side of your room. This forces you to get out of bed to turn it off instead of lying in bed, scrolling through Instagram. Another great outlet is journaling. This tool is unique because you can do it anytime, anywhere. If the only self-care you can fit into your schedule is late at night, or perhaps, this is when you feel that you need the most support, journaling can be incredibly helpful. Putting your thoughts on paper can be emotional in the moment, but even more so after the fact, as you flip through the
pages of problems past in comparison to where you are today. Journaling is accessible, affordable, and definitely worth a try.
Arguably the most important piece of self-care advice is to reach out for help if you need it. I hesitate to mention this advice in fear of being pessimistic and making issues seem too daunting to fix, but there are many problems in life that won’t be fixed with lavender-scented Epson salts and avocado face masks. Sometimes, the most productive thing you can do is to reach out to a trusted family member, friend or mentor for help. If that is not something you’re comfortable with, reach out to the Student Wellness Centre. According to the CBC, many universities’ mental health supports are understaffed, causing long wait times. Do your future self a favour and book
an appointment as a preventative measure, if you have the slightest inkling you might need it later on in the semester.
As generic as it can sound, we really are almost there, with a few weeks left in the semester. Soon we will be able to enjoy what will hopefully be a restful winter break. If becoming an early riser, or an avid diarist doesn’t give you any relief, keep trying out different outlets to see what works for you. Who knows, you might make a great painter. Go make your masterpiece. Take care.