Mindful without a Full Mind

As the semester wraps up, I want to talk about taking care of yourself. This is a super busy time for most students: projects, papers, exams, and, for all the seniors (like me), graduation and job hunting.

Things get hectic. I get it. We’re all stressed during this last leg of the journey. Earlier this week, I prepared a 45-minute presentation for my capstone two days before it was due- an accurate representation of how my mental state is going.

All this to say that I’ll be listing out my favorite methods of self-care to remind you all to follow suit, give you new ideas, or even just provide a space (in the comments) for suggestions of your own!

A photo of a piece of paper leaning against a window. The paper has the word "mindfulness" written in cursive.
Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Let’s start with the basics for us all:

Hydrate

Yes, I’m looking at you. Drink your H2O.

At this point, a large part of my bloodstream is coffee, so we collectively need to make drinking water a priority

Get a Full Night of Sleep

I know that exam is tomorrow, but I promise you that your study materials will still be there when you wake up. Sleep helps memory consolidation, so you will actually remember what you’re studying better if you’re well rested.

Eat Better

You don’t have to calorie count or eat a bunch of salads and healthy meals for this one. Although if you do, all the more kudos to you!

I’m more or less getting at the fact that leftover pizza does not constitute as a solid breakfast, and a bag of chips is not dinner. Taking the time to eat real meals is incredibly important and will make you feel so much better.

A more individualized list:

Meditation

I love sitting down with a candle, some soft music playing and just breathing deeply for a couple of minutes. Focusing on my posture for a moment and doing some yoga is also a great way to do this for me.

via Giphy

Whatever your idea of this is, whether it’s journaling, coloring, or even exercising, remember to clear your mind and be in the present moment.

Also- here’s a link to Silk, an online interactive generative art site (just because I think it’s cool and relaxing).

Spa Night

Face masks, foot soaks, and bath bombs are so nice. In my own opinion, painting my nails and doing my makeup as therapy also counts toward this category.

Pampering yourself is underrated, and everyone should do it more often.

Cleaning

Marie Kondo has a point. If it does not spark joy, get rid of it!

For real though, cleaning up my spaces and doing little things like my laundry or washing my bed sheets keeps me feeling refreshed. Washing pillow cases also helps clear facial breakouts!

Hobbies

Netflix does not count as a hobby. I just need to lay that out there. I personally love writing, playing piano, and baking when I manage to get around to those.

Find something that you find fun or are passionate about and set aside some time to focus on that for a little bit.

Social Interaction

It’s tempting to hole up in the library for hours on end (and during finals week, days), but making sure to have human interaction that isn’t a group study session is beneficial. I need to stay sane somehow, and everyone freaking out together is not it.

Doing Things for MYSELF

The broke college kid stereotype is real, but treating myself every once in awhile to things like a dinner out or a new thrift store find is a good way to spoil myself on a budget.

This doesn’t just have to stop at buying things. Going out to the Shenandoah Mountains and watching the sunset, having a downtown day, or going on an adventure doesn’t have to be a group activity. I need to be better about taking myself on dates and not caring about what people think!

I once read somewhere to love being yourself in addition to loving yourself!

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Aaaand that’s a wrap on how I handle my self-care. I hope this gave you some things to think about!

You can also utilize JMU’s Counseling Center through TAO (Therapy Assistance Online), The Oasis, and The Studio.

2 thoughts on “Mindful without a Full Mind

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