How do I Reset in the Middle of the Semester?

Welcome back to my Bryn Mawr Blog. This is Jacqueline. I will share how I reset in the middle of the semester.

It’s now the fourth week of the semester (a semester has 14 weeks) and I begin to feel that it becomes harder to maintain the 12-8 schedule. I sometimes need to stay up late to finish reading or turn in an assignment on time, but staying up late disrupts the routines I’ve been doing. For example, after I work late in the evening, I might be too tired to do evening routine and just go straight to bed and what follows is that I might get up late, so I don’t have sufficient time to do the morning routine. From my experience, it is much harder to maintain a habit than to disrupt one. Thus, I need to take some self-care acts to reset my life to the point where I feel that I have some control over it.

The easiest and the most attractive choice is binge watching. I could lay in the couch and watch an entire season in one day. I often use it to distract me from overwhelming emotions or to take my mind off what I really need to do. But I realize that it’s not an effective way to reset: I feel more anxious afterwards. Despite how appealing it sounds, I try my best to avoid it.

Here are some self-care that actually work for me.

  • Walking on Campus

I have been walking on campus everyday in the final week last semester to take my mind off the work, but this habit didn’t last because it became too cold outside. As the spring comes, it has become warmer and I intend to resume my walking on campus. I usually start from Goodhart and go down and up the stairs to get to Park. I walk past the campus center and sit on the Carpenter Greens or Rhoads Beach for some sunset.

  • Talking to Friends

My friendship is quit unique. I don’t need or enjoy the company of friends to hang out or do stuff together. I like doing things completely based on my own preference. But I do sometimes need connection with friends. Thus, I could not talk to my friends for a month and pick up where we were when we last talked and then go on for hours.

  • Cooking and Baking

For sweet choices, I’d go with chocolate chips cookies and cinnamon rolls. Another rather uncommon choice is making seitan, a food made from gluten. It is made by first making a flour dough and washing the dough until all the starch is removed. It will end up to be a spongy piece of dough. The process of washing it is quite satisfying.

  • Spiritual Guidance

I believe that there’s something more to the mundane life. But I don’t follow any specific religion nor do I believe that an omnipotent god will save us all. I see the religious practice as a way to stay present and ultimately to better well-being. Some practices that I find useful include meditation, chanting, and affirmation. I mediate the first thing in the morning to begin my morning with a steady mood. I chant when I feel that my mind is going wild and can’t stop. I have my favorite affirmation as my screen saver so that I can see it every time I check my phone. I understand that my way may deviate from how they were intended to work but it works for me.

There are times in life when you are in perfect order but there are also times when things get out of hand. Things happen and it’s okay that you may feel a bit out of control or get off track sometimes. You accept what happened and work upon it. I offer some options that work for me and I hope that it will inspire you to take care of yourself too. Thanks for reading.