As college campuses nationwide return to in-person learning, stress levels are starting to rise. Students are up studying and cramming for tests, trying to get assignments in on time — all while trying to balance a social life. After a little over a year of attending classes through Zoom, it is taking some time for students to adjust. Everyone deserves a little “me time” here and there, so VALLEY is here to guide you into making time for yourself this semester.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools were placed online through Zoom and virtual learning. This allowed more time to do other things in between classes — and even during class. Less time was spent walking to classes but rather sitting inside all day waiting for your next class to begin. With clubs hosting meetings in-person again and more social opportunities surrounding us, it can be hard to take care of ourselves.
This idea of self-care has become very popular during the pandemic but can mean various things to different people. VALLEY is going to give you some tips and tricks to let you unwind a little.
But you may be asking yourself — what can I actually do to care for myself? Let us give you a go-to guide of ten self-care tips.
This is not necessarily a self-care tip, but it is very important to stay organized so you can maximize your free time better. If you are aware of when you have to get assignments done or attend meetings, you can find the time to do things for yourself. At the start of every week or day, write down everything that has to get completed with a tentative time. This will ensure that your mind stays focused on your tasks. Buy yourself a cute little planner and pens to spice it up. Instead of leaving your work for the end of the week, prioritize completing assignments earlier. This will reduce stress levels.
Penn State’s campus is beautiful right now as we slowly transition into fall. Find the perfect time to go on a walk and spend some time alone or with a close friend. Take this time to be unplugged and enjoy being outside. This will allow you to clear your head, get some exercise and unwind.
VALLEY knows that the FOMO is real, but decide to ditch the social scene for one night and prioritize yourself and your mental health. These kinds of nights are much needed after a long week. Allow yourself to catch up on your favorite show without feeling guilty, do a face mask, read your book or simply catch up on sleep. This is an amazing way to take time for yourself.
There’s nothing like romanticizing tedious tasks like studying. Make time for yourself by going on a cute study date. Throw on your favorite comfy clothes, grab a tasty snack and find that perfect spot. Bring a friend or two if you work better in groups. Finding the “fun” in studying is especially important while getting back into in-person classes.
Trying something new is a great way to get out of your comfort zone. It will get you out of your normal schedule and challenge yourself. You can take this as seriously as you want. Try hiking Mt. Nittany, eating at a new food place or joining a new club. Even the little things are ways to make time for yourself outside of the regular activities.
If you catch yourself with some downtime, savor those moments! You don’t know when the next time you can truly unwind will be. Maximize what you do and enjoy it, no matter how much time you have.
Making time for yourself is not something to take lightly. Everyone deserves a break every now and then. Tag us, @VALLEYmag, and show us how you’re spending your “me” time next!