Returning to classes after a luxurious Winter Break is probably one of the most trying times of the year. We feel the weight (figuratively and literally) pile on after weeks of relaxation and down time, and if we aren't drowning in the re-occurance of constant studying, we're wishing we were back on vacation. In order to boomerang back on the negative spiral of the beginning of "Spring" semester, I've compiled a list of ideas to keep your body and your mind in tip-top shape, even when you don't have a jacuzzi tub in the bathroom.
1. Face masks!
I have always loved treating myself to a nice face mask or scrub. For one, acne kills my vibe more than anything else, and this is the first step in taking care of it. Face masks also just feel nice. I like the way they tingle a little and how I feel all shiny and glowing afterwards. I always grab 'em from the beauty section in Target, because they're so affordable. That's where my mom got the one below — a stocking stuffer this year. Although they might not be as cute as you would hope, as long as you glance at the ingredients, face masks will always make you feel just right.
2. Infused water.
Ice water is obviously the best way to hydrate — and it's always necessary. However, adding a couple lemon wedges, cucumber slices or mint leaves to your water bottle will make you feel fancy and refreshed.
3. Do your nails.
Simple as that. Take some time to clip and file your nails. It's a stress reliever for me to just do that, but slathering on a coat of polish will make it all that much better. I even use Gold Bond foot cream and body lotion to keep my skin feeling hydrated and vibrant.
4. Lavender. Lavender. Lavender.
My dog used to be afraid of thunderstorms, so our vet told us to rub lavender oil on his ears. Just like him, people use essential oils like lavender and rose to decrease stress and anxiety. Lavender-scented anything is the wind beneath my wings, and I suggest it during all seasons of life.
5. Guided meditations.
I'm a relaxation junkie, so I always fall asleep listening to guided meditations or ocean noises. For some, that can be excessive, but I do think everyone can benefit from an occasional guided mediation. Close your eyes and listen, because you deserve it. I usually just search YouTube videos, and this one is one of my favorites:
6. Read a book for leisure.
Read something that suits you and isn't necessarily about bio-engineering or the history of the printing press. As Arthur Reed would say, "having fun isn't hard when you've got a library card."
7. Rent a hammock!
A lot of campus fitness facilities also have outdoor equipment. At my school, you can rent a hammock for $4 and take it wherever you'd like. I'm obsessed with hammock-ing. Something about it immediately puts me at ease and makes me feel so pampered. Just...make sure you don't fall out.
8. Brew a mug of chamomile tea.
Although the appeal of quadruple-shot coffees from the library cafe is real, you deserve better. If you're not a fan of tea, get some decaf or make some hot cocoa. Let the warmth fill your body and take deep breaths while you settle down.
9. Pop in your favorite feel-good movie.
While your nails dry and your tea steeps, stick in a favorite movie. My feel-good go-to is Easy A. Young Emma Stone simultaneously warms my heart and rocks my world. Maybe you need a good cry or a good laugh, but follow your heart, sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
Whatever's got you feeling down, feeling gross or feeling worn out, there's nothing a little spa day can't fix. Although college is not the ideal place for massages and bath bombs, know that you have the ability to make it work — and to make it work well. Happy R&R!