Self Care Sunday: What do you do to de-stress?
Have you ever heard someone say “College is the most wonderful time of your life”? I am confident you have. While college offers opportunities to make memories, try new activities, and expose yourself to a potential career, it is also challenging, overwhelming, and lonesome.
It can be easy to overload yourself with work and commitments because you feel pressure to make the most of your time in college. While you want to push yourself in classes and engage in a satisfying social life, it is critical to take care of yourself outside of these activities.
During my first year and a half of being at Stevens, I seriously neglected myself. I was on a sports team which was a big commitment with little free time. Outside of volleyball, my time was dedicated to doing my homework. When I did have a free moment, I rarely took the time to wind down or do things that made me happy. I tried pushing myself harder by comparing myself to others and putting myself down. I could not keep living like this. I was floating through days and going through the motions making me feel like I wasn’t living.
Last semester was the first time I started to truly tune into my needs. Sundays were my worst days because I would be anxious with anticipation of the coming week. To get past my anxiety and stress I focused on using the day to relax and help prepare for the week.
To start, I always let myself sleep in on Sundays. It is easy for my roommate and I to get caught up giggling together at night and forget to go to bed early. I am happier and more alert when I am rested so I use the weekend to try my best to catch up on sleep.
Additionally, every Sunday I have to do my laundry. I find doing laundry to be therapeutic and folding and putting it all away also encourages me to clean up other parts of my room. Then once I'm in the cleaning mood, my roommate and I all clean the living room and kitchen. When my space is clean, my life feels more organized and productive.
Since I work out most days during the week, I use my Sunday as a rest day to truly decompress. In the past, I dealt with guilt if I didn't work out. Then I realized that when I take a break from the gym, it makes me value it more and appreciate it when I am there. At other times, I like to read, go on a walk outside, or do something creative. This forces me to unplug from my phone which is rejuvenating and refreshing.
Finally, it is not a true Sunday if I don’t get Chipotle. My friends and I have a tradition of going every Sunday, and I always look forward to it. I am surrounded by the people I love which soothes my anxiety and we can chat and catch up with each other. It is a fun excursion to get out of the room and finish the day.
While the title says one thing, I want to emphasize that my self-care doesn't only apply to Sundays. Sundays can be a great start to taking care of yourself and getting organized, but life significantly changed when I began implementing self-care acts throughout my week. These include anything that brings me joy in any form. I like to wash my hair, write down thoughts that are bugging me, put my phone down for a few hours, cook myself a meal, and paint. The biggest practice that can apply in any form is simply treating myself with kindness and understanding. I give myself space to lean into what I am feeling and what I need in certain situations. I practice being mindful and present in the moment instead of allowing myself to become caught up in the overwhelm of life. I would argue that trusting yourself and being able to grow as a person are the most important life skills to have.
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