With my final deadlines looming I am beginning to get stressed out. I am on track but it is still a scary thought – my dissertation and writing blog are the final assignments I will ever write as an undergraduate.
In order to keep me sane, I have decided to adopt some self-care habits that I am going to try and continue after the deadlines have been submitted.
At its core, self care is about recharging and reducing stress. And below is what has helped me over the past few weeks.
Acknowledge and accept my emotions
I am very bad at becoming overwhelmed, crying and apologising over and over again about it. But I have only recently realised that if I check in with my emotions regularly and acknowledge how I’m feeling then I am less likely to become overwhelmed and cry. However, it’s also good to let those emotions out every once in a while so if any aspects of life get too much, take some time out, accept those emotions and cry. There’s nothing wrong with it.
Create a routine
I feel like I have always had a routine or what I thought was a routine but it isn’t until recently where I have created a solid routine for the day. I now make my own lunch every morning so I can save a bit of money, walk into uni at the same time every day, walk home at the same time and spend the evening reflecting on the day – both the highs and the lows – then allow myself an hour or so to watch some Netflix before spending time to write whatever I feel like writing. This could be a piece of prose, a blog post, part of my assignment. Whatever I’m in the mood to write, I will write and if I’m not in the mood, I don’t put myself down too much about it, I’ll watch something on Netflix (I know this is bad but I’m a screenwriter so I can justify it, right?)
I’m still working on this one as I have a very guilty conscience but I have just learnt to accept the reactions and know that if I mean something to the people I’m saying no to then they’ll understand my reasons and accept it.
Nourish your body
Making my lunch has meant that I’ve been eating a lot healthier. I’ve cut down the amount of coffee I drink, make sure I drink at least 2.5L of waters a day (thank you fit bit app) avoid buying ‘treats’ from the campus cafe (although their chocolate chip flapjacks are amazing), and try and eat veggies as much as possible. But it isn’t just about what you put into your body. I also make sure that I am getting enough sleep as I have learnt that I do not function well on less that 6 hours sleep. I aim for 7-8 hours a night to ensure I am fully charged and sometimes it doesn’t work out but the majority of the time it does. I have made myself a morning person!
Treat yourself daily
Chocolate chip flapjack? YES PLEASE. Although this use of the word treat doesn’t necessarily mean food. Maybe a treat could be a bubble bath, a hair mask, painting your nails, a cocktail, or in my case probably a flapjack. This treat, whatever that is to you, can be a great self motivator and it can be as small or as big as you like.
Spend more time outside
Since moving campuses I live a lot closer and now walk to and from uni every day. This means I spend at least 20 minutes outside alone everyday and I am really enjoying this time. I don’t plug my headphones in when I walk alone as it gives me time to just be by myself, no distractions and the fresh air always gives me a little boost of energy for the day.
I live with three of my best friends and even though sometimes it’s a mad house, we all like our alone time so can easily just sit in our own rooms and chill out without needing to talk to one another. Even if this is just for half an hour whilst I paint my nails, getting quiet is a definite must for me to recharge and I never feel like myself unless my nails are painted.
Have you got any self care habits?