April is my last full month of school. This year I more so have been questioning my education than seeing its usefulness. But I guess that is useful in and of itself. Learning what you disagree with or learning how to come up with strategies to cope with the teaching methods used has been some key aspects to my “getting through this semester” mentality. I am not saying this to be ungrateful. This past month has also been filled with some happy moments as well. I realize my life is filled with blessings I take for granted, and I feel guilty for even saying my previous statements, but hopefully my honesty and vulnerability speaks to someone out there dealing with something similar.
In regards to learning how to take care of myself mentally more so than physically, I have come up with some things that are quite cheep and beneficial.
1. get outside and into nature: remember there is life outside of campus, there are more than just college aged humans and professors out there, find some babies to smile at.
2. walk or bike for transportation: you’ll feel refreshed because of the time you gave yourself to wander and let your mind sort itself out
3. listen to mind/body podcasts: I am in class with other dancers all day so being alone and lead by someone feels quite amazing. I always think its important to take the time to center yourself when feeling anxious or low. The best way I know how is to integrate the mind and body for a physical and spiritual reconnection.
4. make yourself popcorn on the stove: I don’t know why but this has been so helpful for me. I don’t buy bagged popcorn anymore and I feel so much better about taking the time to prepare a bowl of popcorn. I probably like this a lot because it reminds me of my mom but I also really like the idea of putting effort into whatever you prepare for yourself. It requires patience but it is extremely fulfilling.
5. not apologizing for taking the time to be alone or in silence: I am surrounded by people and dancing with others throughout my day. We have a community, and I love them, but I am also a person who gets super tired from overexerting myself with talking or dancing for too long of a time frame. I now try to find moments to just be and sit in silence. It doesn’t have to be a meditation or anything. Just sitting in silence.
6. calling a family member or someone I love dearly: It’s great to be able to talk without explanation or apologies or seeking approval. I know they are there to be with me and I am there to be with them. We each leave the conversation feeling good about helping each other out. That’s a great feeling in life.
7. salt lamp as lighting for my night shower: or use a candle as your light. It is like you are showering in a dark cave with candles.
8. reading: whether it’s the Bible or a book written by some of my favorite psychologists or holistic health leaders, I do this every night. It is my sleeping aid. The more I read the more curious I become and the more I realize how much I don’t know and how much I need to know. I like that feeling of never completely knowing.
So April….I hope you come with some rain and sun. I am ready to learn what you teach me.