It only takes one particular moment to open your eyes to the offset of your daily habits. It’s difficult to make time for yourself. They say eat healthily, take care of yourself and the like, but what’s blocking you from doing so is time, or the absence of it. Frankly, I’d much rather be in tune with myself and my body than worry about upcoming final exams, but c’est la vie — that’s life. Luckily for you, we at The Clog have got your back. Your fight to keep yourself grounded (and sane) isn’t one you face alone. Below is not one but four ways in order to do so.
Brief meditation study break
Tell your friends that they’re not too busy for self-care. While that 10-page paper is important for your overall grade, your overall wellbeing is crucial to your success. So, as opposed to mindlessly scrolling through social media as a “study break,” why not ease your mind via meditation. It’s a quick and easy way to keep your thoughts organized in a way that’s beneficial to your coursework too. I mean, I just witnessed someone meditating near the Campanile on my way to class. You can literally do it anywhere and in any form — in class during Berkeley time, Doe Library’s uncomfortable wooden seats or on the bus while listening to a playlist. Regardless, setting aside a few minutes for meditation may help soothe your breaths and mind. We wouldn’t want to burn out during the last stretch now, would we?
Crumpling paper of emotions
While you may already be familiar with regular journaling, try this little twist. Like meditation, journaling eases the mind and clears any undesirable thoughts. However, have you ever needed a physical representation of it? A tangible demonstration of your emotions and stress being destroyed from existence? Well, crumpling a paper of your racing thoughts can do exactly that. The steps are as follows: Formulate what you’re feeling onto paper then when you feel a tad bit relieved crumple the paper. Perhaps it might be aggressive and rage-filled — I know it can be at times for me. Nonetheless, you should feel slightly lighter because of it. If you’d rather keep your frets to yourself this option might work best for you. Just know that you never have to carry the weight of it alone.
Similar to meditation, doing yoga or stretches for just a few minutes is an optimal way to clear the mind. While this may be a bit more difficult to get in the habit of doing, it’s worth attempting. You’re not just easing your mind but relieving stress patterns. Exam season is definitely stressful, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. YouTube is a great way to start your yoga journey with channels such as Yoga with Adriene or Yoga with Kassandra, which have numerous beginner lessons. As for stretches, they can be tailored to your needs at any moment. With hours upon hours hunched over at a screen, our bodies will certainly thank us for a bit of motion. Starting is always the hardest, so what are you waiting for? You’ll soon be able to craft a routine according to your preference and schedule.
Leave voice memos for future you
Feeling out of touch with yourself is an ordinary occurrence, so why not remind your future self of this by recording a voice memo on your phone. Talking it out, as they say, is a strategy to grapple with your emotions that may have seemed foreign before. While communicating such feelings with another is beneficial, talking it out to the void works just as well. I personally enjoy listening back to my past audios as a way to remember how far I’ve come in terms of my college career. The person I was in August certainly does not have the same mindset that I do now. It’s ludicrous just how much we can change in such a short span of time — from our aspirations to the phrases used. So, the next time you feel under the weather, try talking to your future self.
It’s easy to pretend that you’re okay when in reality, you’re struggling to remain afloat. More likely than not, those around you are struggling too. These strategies are just some of the numerous ways to guide you through the home stretch. You got this, bears!