If life were a video game, this year would be an expert level. But fear not, no one is an expert, in fact, no one really knows how to play the game. Whether you’re a student procrastinating, someone who needs a break, or maybe just someone who would rather hibernate during the winter, this one’s for you. In this one, we’re talking about self care, baby. Oh yeah. Now I’ll keep it short, but if you want some tips and tricks to loving yourself through the chaos, keep reading.
1. 4-7-8 Breathing:
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
- Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
2. Box Breathing:
- Inhale for 4 seconds
- Hold your lungs full for 4 seconds
- Exhale for 4 seconds
- Hold your lungs empty for 4 seconds
3. Stimulating Breathing
- Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise.
- Keep Your Space Organized: Do you have proper lighting? Is there enough space for your textbooks? Tidy desk, tidy mind, people! You don’t have to position everything to a 90 degree angle, but if you spend most of your time looking for your pencil, think of how much studying you’re missing out on! Organize your space and tests you will ace.
- Virtual Study Groups: You may learn something from your friend, or if you are that friend, you will benefit from explaining your answers out loud. Not to mention, socializing with friends reduces stress, significantly. We all need a little support from our pals.
- Take Regular Breaks: Take a break every 75 to 90 minutes! You’ll stay productive and improve your ability to focus on the tasks at hand, whether you hit the gym, or scroll through TikTok. Don’t drag yourself through hours of cramming and studying.
- Listen to Music: Science has not identified what genre of music makes you the most productive, but turn on some tunes and keep the stress away. Give your studying a soundtrack and maybe you’ll be able to recall information when you sing the songs in your head!
- Study at Night: When you sleep, your brain is hitting the new memories hard, turning them into long term memories. Just don’t bring your textbooks into bed with you, it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep on a pile of books.
Lift Your Spirit
Lastly, do things that lift your spirit! Fill your soul with happiness. If you find yourself doodling or sketching, set aside time for you and a sketchbook. If your soul wants to keep up with the Kardashians, go for it! If you haven’t picked up your knitting needles or tried a new recipe lately, don’t deprive yourself of the things that make you who you are! Try singing outside of the shower. Go on, you talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox, bust out those dance moves in the mirror! Journal about how annoying Susan is from accounting. When was the last time you yodeled? Go for a walk, watch the sunset, call your mom. Bust out those binoculars and bird watch ‘til your heart’s content. The list is endless! Whatever makes you smile, make it last a while.