It’s January, which means for most of us, that it’s time to take down the holiday decorations and get back to the grind.
For me—and I’m sure for a lot of you, too—it feels like I never had a break from the grind. With work, classes, and the holidays all placing demands on my time and attention, I’ve felt a little overwhelmed, like I’ve been trying to keep afloat in a sea of final papers and wrapping paper.
Regardless, a new year is here, and I’ve resolved to make 2016 the year of self-care, even when—or especially when—I feel like I don’t have time for it.
But that leads me to a seemingly simple question—one that Jsulli214 posed in the comments of my first post—that gave me pause: what exactly is self-care? How am I defining that?
Is it self-care when I carve time out of my busy schedule to read something other than a textbook?
Is it self-care when I treat myself to a latte from my favorite coffee shop?
Even if the caffeine is to help me stay up late studying?
Is it self-care when I force myself to stay awake for ten more minutes at the end of a long night of studying to wash the makeup off my face before completely collapsing onto my bed?
I think there’s just as much validity in including the tedious, humdrum parts of making time for ourselves and our needs—like finally tackling Laundry Mountain at the end of exams or simply drinking enough water—as self-care as there is in including the fun, restorative activities that brighten our days in that definition.
For now, I’m favoring a broad definition of self-care, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with both big and small ways to take care of myself and to start the new year off strong in the midst of the controlled chaos that is grad school life.
Do any of you have self-care in your resolutions for 2016? What are your goals or themes for the new year? Tell us all about them in the comments!