By Sophia Lopez, June 10 2022—
You just finished your last exam and as you leave campus, or close the D2L tab, you let out the biggest sigh of relief — a sigh signifying that you finally never have to look at that overpriced textbook ever again. The academic school year has now come to a close and you can enjoy the little bit of snow that still lingers as spring is late to arrive. But after a few days of freedom, the feelings of worry and stress begin to return, but this time for a different reason.
Every year I experience this seasonal slump. A state of confusion and panic begin to overtake my overall state, leaving me asking myself, “What now? I have nothing to do.” While these feelings are normal and merely temporary, it’s important to be able to deal with them in a healthy manner — which is something I’m still learning to do. Here are a few things I sometimes do to ease my overthinking and help me realize that I’m doing just fine.
Find a hobby, but not just any hobby:
So while saying “Go find a hobby” is the most annoying-parent thing to say, they’ve kind of got a point. But unlike a parent, I’m not suggesting to go find just any hobby. Finding a hobby that involves a lot of repetition is going to really help you find a routine again if that’s something you need. The sudden change from being extremely busy to having a lot of free time can throw us for a loop, and finding something to keep us occupied — that also happens to be something we enjoy — can really do us a big favour. Whether it’s picking something up again or trying something new, keeping busy with a hobby really helped me feel more productive once things started to slow down.
Find a job, even in these circumstances:
Adding on to staying busy, no one ever said you can’t stay occupied while making a bit of cash in the process. I think it’s important to note that in the circumstances we’re in, getting a job has not become any easier, so that makes things a bit more tricky. But if you’re able to find a job you enjoy that also follows a consistent schedule, you’ll gain some job experience while also remaining somewhat sane. The switch from classes upon classes, exams and studying to at least a part time job will lessen the blow once the semester ends. It’s helped me gradually reduce to a less busy schedule without feeling overwhelmed.
Just sitting outside does more than you think:
Going outside for fresh air is still an underrated cure to anything in life. Stepping outdoors and getting away from everything for a second can really clear your mind and allow you to relax. There are many ways you can get fresh air, from going on a bike ride, opening a window or even going on one of those hot-girl walks. Getting some vitamin D never hurts, and recharging your brain in the process will only help mitigate any lack of energy or motivation. Whenever I feel low and need a booster, I’ll find some sort of excuse to get out of the house. Even if it’s just getting the mail, taking a break from what you’re dealing with will help you recharge and get back on track.
Get it off your chest:
If you’re anything like me and love giving advice but never taking it for yourself, then maybe you should listen to this point. The sense of relief after venting to someone you’re comfortable with is unmatched. Whether it’s venting or you’re screaming, crying, throwing up — letting it all out is gonna make you feel better. I’m fortunate enough to have people in my life who are there for me, but even then, sometimes I just need to keep things to myself. This is when pen and paper come in handy. Writing down your thoughts still counts as venting, and can be really helpful if you don’t feel comfortable expressing certain feelings to other people.
Say bye to the idea that you can’t always treat yourself:
I don’t like the idea of “treating” yourself. There’s this idea that we need to earn anything that makes us happy. We shouldn’t limit ourselves. While many things in life come with sacrifice, if you really want that chocolate bar, go buy it. Treating yourself is also often associated with expensive things — which is far from the truth. If you really want that extra hour of sleep, hit the snooze button. You don’t need to be so hard on yourself if you don’t need to be — it’s never really that serious.
Or don’t do anything about it:
Yup. You could just have this slump stay for a bit and live your life around it. I know I have, and continue to do so. By applying some of these tips though, hopefully you and I can avoid feeling overwhelmed every year by the end of the semester. But honestly, I probably will still get this slump regardless and that’s okay. The effort of trying to take better care of yourself will make a big difference, at least in terms of creating a better mindset.
Remember that these feelings where you question yourself and fall into a slump are not the same as being ungrateful — I know I thought this for a while. I couldn’t be more grateful for the people and opportunities I have in my life, but that doesn’t mean things can’t get tough. Please go easier on yourself. Maybe go watch some reality TV and laugh — you’ll see that you’re actually doing a lot better than some people.