At a time when “Treat yourself” has become more of a marketing tactic than real advice, it’s important to practice self-care.
Millenials spend twice as much time as baby boomers do on self-care, according to a June 2017 NPR article.
Even with that in mind, it’s hard to remember to devote time to your own well-being when you’ve got a paper due tomorrow and a book to read this weekend.
As final exam week approaches, Culture staff writers recommend small, inexpensive ways to take care of yourself.
Take a Walk Downtown
We live in a pretty scenic part of the country, but the views of college life at UVM can get a little monotonous: dorm room, dining hall, classes, brief walks outside and, before you know it, you’re cooped back up in your dorm or apartment.
If this repetition is getting you down, make some time for yourself and take a little trip downtown.
For a refreshing change of scenery, head on down to the waterfront and take in the views provided by the lovely Lake Champlain waterfront. While you’re there, you might as well treat yourself to a creemee.
Treat Your Skin
One of my favorite ways to destress is with some quality skin care, ranging from making my own homemade masks to treating myself to some more expensive products.
For those with dry skin, mix 1 tablespoon of raw honey with half an avocado and leave it on your face for 15 minutes to 20 minutes.
Wipe off with a warm washcloth and look at your hydrated, glowing skin.
Another one of my favorites is a homemade charcoal peel mask that you can make by mixing a capsule of activated charcoal with a 1/4 teaspoon of bentonite clay and 1 teaspoon of plain gelatin.
Add 2 teaspoons of boiling water, mix again, and then add two drops of tea tree oil before applying to your face with a brush.
Let it dry for 20 minutes to 30 minutes and then peel off to see your clear skin underneath.
In addition to DIY products, I am a big fan of trying skin products from TJ Maxx or The Body Shop. From TJ Maxx, I’ve gotten five sheet masks for $5 and a witch hazel toner for $3.
I definitely recommend The Body Shop if you want to go all out. I spent around $40 there on a Vitamin C exfoliating scrub and a Chinese ginseng and rice mask.
I love both products and they definitely make me feel better after a stressful day, so it’s money well spent.
Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong. So treat yourself to some great skin care.
Call Your Folks
Maintaining good social connections is key to improving and preserving your mental health, and one of the oldest and most beneficial connections you can have is with family.
Being able to call your parents or other family members is a priviledge that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
College students, often in the midsts of their first long period of time spent away from home, can find some emotional solace in connecting with their folks.
Our families can help provide us with emotional support, connections to jobs, life advice and all sorts of other positive things. Not to mention, they did raise you, and they probably wished you would call more.
So, do both yourself and them a favor: call your folks.
Try Some Yoga
For those with a group fitness pass at Campus Recreation, the Yoga Restore class is a great way to take some time for yourself.
As you pose in the fetal position with a purple pouf between your knees, and swaddle yourself with a cozy blanket, you’ll feel a sense of calm emerge.
These simple acts of self-care feel strange and slightly ridiculous but are unparalleled to any other form of relaxation I have attempted.
Yoga Flow doesn’t require anything more complicated than a simple “downward dog” and more often involves lying mindfully and breathing deeply.
The instructors guide you through a series of relaxing mindfulness activities while also reminding you to disregard thoughts about current stressors.
Classes typically run only an hour, so a restorative yoga class can be the perfect study break.
For those feeling overwhelmed or looking to take preventative action, these classes meet Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., Wednesdays at 4:15 p.m. and Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. in the Campus Recreation Studio at Patrick Gym.