Donald: This Valentine’s Day, Remember to Love Yourself

It’s about that time of the semester again. The rush and excitement of a new semester has gone by, the winter has finally started to feel brutal, and midterms, first papers, and group projects are all starting to pile up. In the middle of the stress and chaos of this time of year, it can be hard to remember to practice self-care.
Self-care is the act of taking time out of your day to make sure your physical, mental, and emotional needs are all being taken care of. Although this sounds simple, when we’re stressed about classes or extracurriculars or internships, it can be a lot harder to remember to eat a healthy meal or take a study break. In the winter, it can be even harder to remember to self-care because you cannot simply go for a walk to calm down.
Here are a couple of tips that I’ve found helpful for practicing self-care in the winter:
  • Plan time in your schedule for self-care. I often book myself for hours non-stop during a day and forget to schedule time to decompress, grab a snack, and just mentally prepare for my next task.
  • Pre-plan breaks while studying. I’ve often get goals for myself such as taking 10 minute breaks after studying for 50 minutes straight. Whatever your time constraints allow, pre-planning when you’ll take breaks can be an easy way to remind yourself to relax.
  • Keep in touch with friends and family from home. I know I never call my parents enough, but when you take a break for a phone call to check-in, you can ground yourself and distract yourself from stress for some time, while also making your family happy.
  • Find indoor activities that calm you down. Whether it’s finally buying that adult coloring book you’ve always wanted or solving a People magazine crossword puzzle, find things that can calm you down while you stay cozy and warm inside of your bedroom.
  • Take deep breaths. It can often be really overwhelming to get stressed out with everything going on, and when stress builds up it can definitely cloud your ability to think straight. Taking a pause to inhale deeply 3 or 4 times can really ground you and help calm you down after a stressful time.

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