Practicing self-care is always important, but sometimes it slips through the cracks and we need a little help getting back to where we want to be.
I'm sure every college student can relate that mid-terms were rough and made us all want to drop out of school. I thought people were lying when they said that sophomore year would be harder: they weren't. The last few days have taken a lot out of me emotionally, physically, and mentally. When I am stressed out, I am more prone to depressive behaviors which is always a struggle when dealing with school.
I am also one of the lucky people who gets insane painful acne when I am stressed and gain water weight like I drank all of Niagara Falls. Not only does the lack of sleep affect me mentally, but also the taxing effort of focusing on so many different things at once. Now that I am on fall break, I plan to take full advantage of the five days I have off to spend with my brother and sister-in-law. Here are my 9 go-to ways to collect yourself after mid-terms!
1. Face masks.
It sounds cliche and it probably is, but face masks can solve all the world's issues if we just give them the chance. With my acne going out of control after the stress of mid-terms, I like to use my favorite masks every other day to re-balance my face and purge my skin. I absolutely love the Mario Badescu skincare brand and swear by many of their products. For every day, I love their Drying Mask as a spot treatment, but when I am looking for an all-over mask, I go with the Flower & Tonic Mask. This purifies my skin but is gentle enough for every other day use. While that is more for combination/oily skin, their Healing and Soothing Mask is great for all skin types and is non-hardening as to give hydration to troubled areas. However, pick a mask of your choosing that you feel gives life back to your skin! You'll be surprised how much tension can be released by doing something as simple as taking care of your skin.
2. Binge watch your favorite show.
Grey's Anatomy is my drug, however strange that might sound. I have re-watched all 13 seasons more times than I can count. I can tell you who screwed who, where they did it, and how they died. There is nothing more relaxing to me than having the ability to watch as many episodes as I want without being worried about the time. So, for a couple of hours turn all of your clocks away, don't look at the time, and allow yourself to keep clicking that next episode button for as long as you want. It's quite comforting to know that even if all else fails, we will always have our favorite binge-worthy TV shows.
3. Take a nap without a care.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a champion napper. If there were an Olympic sport for napping, I would win more gold than Michael Phelps. Which is why after mid-terms one of my favorite things to do is take a nap. We're making up for a lot of missed sleep here! So, let's all roll down the covers and take that extra-long nap to recharge.
4. Catch up on what you've missed.
When mid-terms come around, if you can't tell me something to help me do better on an exam, then I don't care what you're saying. Which means that during mid-terms week, I don't care what Kardashian is pregnant now or how much Blac Chyna is suing them for. So let's all use this time afterward to see what happened in the world while we were drowning in papers and tests. You'd be surprised how much can happen in a couple of days when you don't pay attention. I crossed my fingers that maybe Donald Trump would be impeached, but I guess my wish didn't come true (yet).
5. Dedicate time to yourself.
We've just spent the last couple of days pouring our souls into tests and papers that are supposed to mean something, so it's time we take care of ourselves. My favorite thing to do is put my favorite songs on a playlist, so I don't have to skip to find them, and close my eyes. Not to go to sleep, but to let my mind wander without any other distractions. Find what works for you and make the time to do it.
6. Spend time outdoors.
This is coming from someone who strongly dislikes nature, but some sun on the face will definitely do you good. The weather up in Milwaukee has been unseasonably amazing, which gives me the ability to sit outside and enjoy myself. These days will soon be gone and replaced with hard, cold winds and piles of snow. So, let's use the weather to our advantage and find ways to de-stress while appreciating it.
7. Do something for yourself every day.
This sounds like a difficult task or an expensive one. The truth is, it really doesn't have to be. I love to go get my nails done and it's definitely something I do for myself. But I also love getting dolled up for no reason other than because I want to. The beauty of this is that you decide what is for you, and you decide how you do it. Take this time to unwind from the stress of mid-terms and all the expectations that come with them, and focus on yourself.
Go out and buy your favorite pint of ice cream and eat however much you want of it. Watch a sappy RomCom alone and laugh at the cheesy storylines. Order food from your favorite restaurant just for you. The point of indulgence is its ability to be whatever you want. Just make sure that after the stress of mid-terms where you indulged in everything school, you focus on what you want and take it, because you deserve it!
9. Re-balance yourself.
There are so many ways to do this, and it is all up to you. I like to focus on what I want to accomplish within the next few weeks, the next few months, and the next few years. To some this is daunting, but it reminds me of my goals and where I want to be and who I want to become. Re-balancing doesn't happen overnight. Unfortunately, it is something that is easily broken but harder to mend. Which is why it takes time and patience to find what works for you, and you will find it. Sometimes right when you need it the most.
So, there you have it- my nine ways to collect and better yourself after mid-terms. But these things don't always have to be done right after something stressful or taxing. They can be done in celebration or for simply no reason. Don't ever let anyone tell you when you can and can't work on yourself!