Self-care cleanse: March Madness edition

Infographic brought to you by Western Oregon University

Infographic brought to you by Western Oregon University

As we are approaching the middle of the second semester, the start of hybrid learning, and the revival of extracurriculars, routines are about to change for some of us drastically, for better or for worse. 

Getting back into the habit of waking up early to catch a bus, or arranging pick-up times from extracurricular activities is about to become the new normal. So how do we adapt to these changes in our lives accordingly? And what can we do to keep ourselves grounded?

The utmost important thing to do when life starts to move too fast is to find a continuity amidst the chaos. 

In other words, finding something that will keep you grounded is key. Engaging more in a hobby, spending more time with a loved one, or partaking in more self-reflection such as journaling or taking daily walks are all ways in which you can establish a mini-routine for yourself. This activity should be something that you look forward to doing, and something that you should allot a portion of your day to doing. Letting go of the day around you and centering your focus on something that brings you joy is an excellent way to ground yourself and remind yourself that you come first. No one else.

I am not doing hybrid learning nor participating in an extracurricular – does this advice apply to me? 

This kind of advice can apply to anybody, as it is generic advice. Even though students returning to hybrid or students participating in extracurriculars are undergoing changes in their school life, that does not mean they are the only ones going through drastic changes in their routine. If it feels like it applies to you, then it probably does apply to your life somehow. 

How can I develop a continuity? What kinds of hobbies should I explore if I want to keep myself grounded?

At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide what you want to and what you feel is best. One thing you could do if you are not looking to dive into something new is to expand upon any old hobbies – what can you do to take your hobby to the next step? What kinds of steps should you take to help you feel more fulfilled with your activity? 

Another thing you could do is revisit some of your old hobbies from when you were younger – was there a certain book series or TV show that you could reread or re- watch for old time’s sake? 

But if you do feel like you need to try something new, here’s a few activities that could get you started:


  • Reading

Reading is a perfect way to wind down after a busy day and does not require you to be in front of a screen. Invest in a good book series, one that will take you to many different worlds all from the comfort of your own bed. If you need recommendations, What Should I Read Next is a website by readers for readers that will give you certain book recommendations based on genres and subjects.  


  • Cooking/Baking 

Another activity that is good if you are looking for a new hobby is cooking or baking. Not only will it be a savory way to indulge your time in, but it will also be worth it at the end when you get to eat something delicious that you created with your own two hands. Plus, it’s COVID friendly, as it only requires you to be in your kitchen. A YouTube channel by the name of You Suck At Cooking provides easy, 3-7 minute cooking videos that can get you started on short, simple, and sweet recipes. 


  • Working out

While working out and exercising daily is not easy, it is definitely a rewarding activity. Working out is said to increase your mental health and mood, improves your sleep, and improves your physical health. Additionally, working out increases your mental toughness, as you get to learn how to overcome challenges. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, many people do not have access to a gym at the moment, But YouTube has plenty of great workout videos and workout series for beginners. YouTuber Chloe Ting, whose popularity exploded at the beginning of quarantine, has excellent workout series that are good for beginners or experts. Try different YouTubers out until you find a pace you like.


  • Talking to friends

One of the best and easiest ways to boost your mood is by spending time with people you love, and no better to spend time with than your friends. A simple call or FaceTime can make someone’s day, and because many of us cannot see our friends in person right now, is also one of the best modes of communication and socialization that we have right now. Get in touch with people who you haven’t seen since March 2020 and try to rekindle the friendship! They’ll definitely appreciate it.