Keep the stress away as the semester intensifies

Mollie Moore is the opinion editor for the College Heights Herald during the spring 2016 semester.

Mollie Moore

It’s that time of year again. The semester is at its climax, the trees on campus are in full bloom, and all of your teachers have decided to pile on as much work as possible. I wouldn’t blame you if every night when you get home all you want to do is heat up a microwave meal and veg out in front of the TV. That, however, is the worst thing you could possibly do.

Self care — real, proper self care — is what you need to be focusing on in your down time. There are ways to unwind that won’t make you feel even worse, mentally or physically.

First of all, if you feel the urge to splurge, don’t do it. I promise that future you and future you’s pocket book will appreciate your restraint. No matter what your inner Tom Haverford or Donna Meagle says, you don’t need those expensive matching cashmere sweaters for yourself and your cat. Putting yourself through extra financial stress will only worsen the situation.

After those impulse-buy cravings subside, it’s time to really take care of yourself. Make yourself a good dinner that includes all six food groups. If you live on campus and don’t have access to a kitchen, go to Fresh. It might not be what you want, but if you get a salad and a sandwich and eat that with a banana, you’ll be good to go. Stock up your fridge with fruits and yogurts so you can add some real nutrients to your granola bar breakfast. I promise that your body will thank you.

Run yourself a hot bath or shower. If you’ve had a busy day, it will feel like a relief. It’s also an excellent time to think and unwind from all the craziness school and work are causing.

Lastly, crack open a book before bed. I know you want to binge watch one of your current Netflix obsessions, but that’s not a good idea. The light from your TV or computer screen isn’t good for your eyes and keeps your mind awake. Reading keeps you calm, and you’re less likely to stay up too late this way. A good book also improves your mind, and you need all you can get right now.

Honestly, you’re going to get through this semester successfully no matter what you do, but making it easier on yourself will help it to be more bearable. Don’t waste your time being unhappy. Practicing self care will make everything so much better.