Self Care and Graduate School

As I wrote in my last entry, I began my last semester of graduate school. Even though I am excited and nerve wrecked, my mental state has began to go back to a dark place that I had been in last semester. Last semester, my mental stability took a hit because I was feeling alone and could not understand why. I honestly did not want to do any work and I was always crying. Even though I was going to gym and listening to music, I was not taking care of myself. Recently, I started feeling how I did last semester when I began to shut down completely. I have since learned several ways that I can take care of myself without feeling as though I am cheating my school work process, which is how I would feel when I was not doing my school work. So here are my four ways that I practice self-care daily.

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  1. Writing in a journal- in my journal is where I get real and raw. I write my deepest concerns and thoughts there. In this book, I can express what I cannot speak out loud. I try to write every day because it serves as a reminder that this is an option when I get frustrated. I recommend to anyone reading this to write your heart cries and desires. It can be in a journal, on sheets of paper or even make a video recording your feelings. I say write anything and everything.
  2. Reading a book- I can honestly say with my heart I am a book nerd. Books are always a great way to escape what’s going on in reality. Books have been the door to a portal that was necessary for me to go into. Since being in graduate school, I have learned the importance of reading leisurely because at my other college, I could not figure out how to fit it in, but now I have figured it out. I read non-fiction, fiction, business books, young adult and autobiographies to escape. I mainly use the library because I can explore and take out books that truly interest me. (Plus, I am on a graduate school budget) So run to your local library and check out a few.self care pic 2
  3. Meditation- Meditation has honestly been my saving grace because it allows me to just breath and have my mind at ease. Usually when I mediate I will sit on the floor, in my bed, or in the chair. I just take about five minutes to just breath and allow my mind to be at ease and at times I get great ideas. I would recommend people to meditate because it is a calming experience. You can personalize meditation anyway you want to by add music, candles or even meditating outside. The important thing is you take time for yourself to breath and just allow yourself the time to refresh.
  4. Walking- I love walking. Walking honestly has helped me to not only clear my mind but also to gain insight and new innovative ideas. Plus it’s just a good way to get fresh air, see your community and discover new things. I would tell you to walk because not only are you being active, and for my fellow introverts it gets us out the house but it provides a new perspective on so much.

These are my daily/ weekly self care things. I also do take myself out on dates to museums, shows, traveling, laying in bed doing nothing or dinners just to appreciate myself. But I do things four things frequently because self-care on the daily basis is essential for me and you to not fall back into that dark space. Some days I do multiple of these task and some days I do one. Just know you can create a self- care routine anyway you see fit and it does not have to cost a lot of money. The important thing is you feel great afterwards and feel ready to take on the world. Just remember to smile in the moment.

 

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Finals and The Holidays

The holiday season is supposed to be the most fun time of year. A time for family and friends to get together and enjoy each other’s company. However, if you are in college or graduate school, most likely you despise this time of the year mainly because of final exams. Most of us are stressed because we may have procrastinated on certain assignments or our minds have not fully prepared for the mental strength required to get through this season. Personally, I am going through the same motions as everyone else. I honestly do not want to finish any assignments nor do I feel like studying. Plus, it does not help when your Master’s program is one year, which means next semester is my last semester. I am basically a senior getting a major dose of senioritis.
However, I am not blind to the fact that many students, including myself, are battling internal battles. Some are worried about failing a course, if they will graduate, where they will go after the semester is over, the depression coming at sometimes the worst times and so much more than I can possibly list. I just want to say to the people going through more than one challenge during this season, just know that I understand that you spend many nights crying about what to do next. I know that your pray and hope for guidance as you try to figure this part of your life out. Don’t believe that this is end, rather give yourself another chance to begin. Learn from the things that have gone bad and prepare for the good that will come. Anytime something bad happens I always tell myself, for every bad thing that happens a good thing follows. But to see the next best thing that’s coming, I must be willing to keep going past the bad that is happening at this moment.
To everyone reading this post, even though this can be one of the not so jolly times of the year, please remember that you are awesome in your own way and your light is needed. I have spent a little time trying to make sure I fully understand this concept as well. Give the semester one last shot and afterwards you can relax. I know I am. Just remember when one door closes, another door opens.