Twenty twenty-one

My first piece this year and as much as I told myself I was not going to mention it, well here it is: another lockdown. Okay I’ve said it, I don’t want to dwell on that for now. What I really want to ponder on is all of the things to look forward to this year, which will hopefully include the completion of a very good first full draft of my thesis! I know that this will probably be the toughest year in my candidature, but I am reminding myself that soon, the end will be in sight. In the meantime, I better set myself up with a good self-care routine.

What does self-care look like though? How do you do it when you’re on a student budget with very little time for yourself? I asked my peers, other students like you and me, and I found that making time for self-care is not an impossible task. A friend says she loves drinking tea and most of the time she’ll be sipping her tea as she’s writing and won’t be able to fully enjoy it at all. However, she makes sure that she sets time for at least one cup of piping, hot tea to be fully enjoyed without work in front of her. Another student has told me that he practices self-care by making sure he puts his phone and laptop away at least one hour before he goes to bed. Another says their self-care time is during their daily, early morning run. It’s precious, quality time for himself, listening to the music he likes and pumping himself up for the day. For others whose family is interstate or overseas, their self-care moment is during their daily videocall with their loved one to talk about their day.

“The best skin treatments are a healthy diet, adequate sleep, fresh water.. and happiness” Dominique Loreau

Other student-friends of mine choose to integrate self-care into their daily skin care routine. A few of us don’t really have time or a budget for a big make-up regimen, but we still want to feel pampered and fresh. A purifying bath does wonders for calming my nerves after a stressful day. I’ve also minimised the clutter in my vanity and instead focused on a good sun cream, moisturiser, primer, foundation, mascara, and lip tint. All the rest are extras.

“Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.” Viktor Frankl, from Man’s search for meaning

2021 still has a lot of offer, even with all the uncertainty it brings. There is opportunity and hope. I can choose to fear this time or I can look forward to new experiences, people, and joys. I think, given the recent Stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne, we are all, globally still in for a lot of ups and downs and so it’s even more important that we treat ourselves, and each other kindly. Try and carve out a special moment each day to care for yourself and to quietly relish what we have now.

Tagged in What messes with your head, self-care, health and wellbeing