The alarm goes off again, so you groan and get out of bed, feet hitting the familiar rug you got three years ago from Fred Meyer. You saunter to the bathroom and look at your tired eyes in the mirror and think, once again, ‘Should I invest in that $60 Kiehls eye cream?’ The answer is no. What you need, my friend, is a break.
If you attend Gonzaga, you may never take breaks. I know I didn’t ever prioritize them. This is usually time best spent alone, or with people you enjoy in a positive environment. For me, it’s either going to the gym or maybe a long walk outside (granted it’s not -100 degrees out).
Getting back into the groove of college is hard. Students have a lot on their plates, among school, clubs, student organizations, social lives, relationships, jobs and the weight of the world around them. We are not programmed to constantly be running around, giving our time and energy away to everyone.
Last semester was difficult for me. So much of it was beautiful, but there were hard times too. I had little energy, a lot of anxiousness and dealt with new emotions as I neared the end of my time in college. On top of a full class schedule, I filled my time with things I love doing: newspaper, student government, an internship and community service. I don’t say these things to brag about how busy I was, or try to get sympathy (because everyone I know was extremely busy), but I had no energy left at the end of the day.
I realized the more I gave my time and energy to everyone, the less happy I felt when I was alone. The truth is, there are others who feel like this too, and it’s OK. Here are some helpful tips I’m starting to implement to enjoy life and be kind to myself.
1. Create a routine that you enjoy. Routines can be tricky because they become mundane. However, if you create a routine that makes you excited to wake up and kick-start your day, it’s very beneficial. You can do routines whenever you’d like, but I found morning routines to set the tone for the day. This can be as simple as meditating, drinking a full bottle of water or doing a face mask (a personal favorite.) This consistency will breed happiness. This form of kindness toward yourself and self-love leads to great things.
2. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t subject yourself to the anxiousness of overthinking. If you’ve ever seen me looking off into the distance, I am most likely overthinking an interaction I had five years ago with a stranger, thinking about what I could have done differently. On a serious note, we are all human. Giving yourself more grace makes it easier to deal with difficult people and situations. Showing love toward yourself and recognizing and acknowledging room for flaws humbles us and allows for greater happiness.
3. Choose joy. I know, cheesy. I have a few signs around my room that say it, just to remind me. Finding joy in things around us, along with focusing on what we love about ourselves is transformative. When we choose to be joyful in difficult situations, it’s refreshing. There are negative feelings that are extremely valid, as well as emotions we cannot control, but this mindset has helped me out of a lot of emotional difficulties. Finding something that causes joy in your everyday life, in yourself or in others around you can open a new door for happiness.
Your self-love may look different than this, but I found life is short and our time is best spent living for the now, focusing on becoming a better version of yourself. Show love to yourself and others, and do what you need to keep yourself on top this spring.