Have you ever had one of those crazy semesters (or years) that seem like you can never find the down time you need. Your schedule is one thing after another and you don’t stop until you sleep at night. When you do have some type of break you have an errand to run, homework to catch up on, or a place to be. At first you can keep up with it, but as the days turn into weeks and weeks into months you can feel your body slowing down a little more, your attitude waning, and patience a little less then normal.
A major emphasis during my foundation semester was the importance for self-care. It felt like every class spoke on it, every lecture contained some tidbit as to why it was important, and every professor had a horror story of life without self-care. I’ll admit, we may have poked fun at how much self-care was talked about that semester; but each semester I’ve grown in my understanding of how to do self-care in this season of life and how to not.
- Coffee shops: I love a lot of things in life, and coffee shops certainly come in somewhere near the top! The aroma of coffee, music, and opportunity to people watch are what makes the experience. Many afternoons are spent with a friend or two sitting with a good cup of coffee, working on some homework, and chatting about life. Some of my favorites include Blacksmith, Boomtown, PJ’s Coffee House, and Agora.
- Sprint Triathlon: One of the summer classes I took was Shame, Empathy and Resiliency with Brene Brown (a must take class!). Sports or any physical fitness related activity is often a source of shame for me, yet completing a triathlon was on my bucket list. A few friends rallied around and we all signed up for the Lonestar Sprint Triathlon in Galveston. Training gave me a goal to work towards and a new outlet for taking care of myself.
- Dog Park: Growing up I was never an animal person, but somehow Texas has turned me into one. Recently I adopted a dog, Penny, from a local rescue. We generally make it to the dog park three times a week. Penny is a very social pup with humans and helps me make many new friends! It’s a good time to be outside, away from normal responsibilities, and meet new people. My favorite is the Johnny Steele Dog Park as we get to take a walk along the bayou before going in to play.
I’ve enjoyed finding new ways to take care of my self during graduate school. I’ve been able to try new hobbies, make new friends, and learn about who I am as an individual, a friend, and a professional. How you care for yourself helps shape your journey in graduate school and the experience you have. Don’t be afraid to step out and try new things or rekindle an old hobby!