When we get back to normal....” “In these unprecedented times …” 

How many times have you heard these phrases in the past year? 

A lot of us are so focused on getting past the pandemic that we lose ourselves in the present. That’s definitely how I was. I applied and started graduate school in the pandemic, and I was so focused on rushing through the next two years just so I could “get back to normal.” School is already stressful and it is meant to be challenging. What’s even more challenging is navigating your career during a global pandemic. Self-care is vital, and I wish I realized this sooner. Self-care will ease you through your studies.

Consider these tips when you feel overwhelmed. 

Get Outside:

We zoomed through the winter (no pun intended) when we finally saw the trees regain their full heads of hair and all of the flowers came out to play. Now as the leaves begin to change again, there is still time to enjoy the crisp NYC air. It can definitely be exhausting to stare at a screen all day. Walking gives us a chance to breathe and disconnect. Consider taking just a few steps around the block to obtain some Vitamin D. Even if it is just walking across the street so you can refill your coffee, that’s great! Your mind and body will thank you, and you’ll be ready to jump back into work. 

A picture of a woman taking a photograph outside. (Source - NYC Photo Journeys).jpg

Sleep In 

A lot of people are morning people. I am one of those people! Still, when I can sleep in, I will. Since I am a morning person, I physically cannot sleep past 8AM, but I still feel refreshed enough knowing I got enough rest, and I didn’t have to depend on a daily alarm. If you have the opportunity to sleep in, take it. It will make such a difference for the rest of your day. 

A Disney animated character laying down. (Credit - The Dis-Explorers).jpg

Check In On Your Loved Ones 

I know how hard it has been to not be able to see your loved ones regularly. They are navigating this year just as much as you are. Of course, you want to make sure that they are living well and easy, but they equally want to check in on you. Frequently checking in on your friends and family will be mutually beneficial. Texts are great, but a phone call goes a long way. Let them hear your voice and vice versa. Make an event out of it if you can. Family coffee Zoom date? Sounds like a dream. 

A picture of Spongebob looking at a cellular device. (Credit - iCollector).jpg

Go Ham On Your New Hobby 

I (like many others) fell down the TikTok rabbit hole. Yes, a lot of them were hilarious, but I have actually learned a lot of fun and creative recipes. I have a bunch that I have saved, and I am slowly making my way to each one, and this has led to my new baking hobby. If you ever feel bored or stuck, try out that hobby that you’ve been putting off. Maybe your hobby will turn into a real passion project or maybe even a new business venture. Putting your energy into something new will help you in the long run.

A picture of two men dancing. (Credit - Mental Floss).jpg

Smile At Yourself 

This is probably one of the most important tips. You did it. You are in graduate school at a great university during one of the craziest times. You are consistently putting in the work. Success is not necessarily measured by how great your post-grad job is, or how many nights you’ve been studying.

Success can mean something new to you every day. Give yourself a pat on the back. Go to the bathroom, look at the mirror, and smile. The person in the reflection is doing amazing, sweetie.

A picture of a toddler looking at herself in the mirror. (Credit - Life Coach Code).jpg