I hope everyone has had a restful weekend and had the chance to unwind, maybe even visit a beach or two. I have mentioned previously that for me, being in nature is one of my primary forms of self-care. These past few weeks have been quite active! I have been feeling a little burnt out and wanted to take this opportunity to share some ways in which I reconnect and rest.

Allowing your body and mind to rest is essential for your physical, mental, and emotional health, and I’m not just talking about sleep! Carving out moments where you are not constantly stimulated by a screen is important. Moments like these give us the opportunity to listen to our bodies and thoughts and ultimately try to better understand them.

Your setting is important to consider. Personally, if the weather permits and I have a decent amount of free time, I love to rest outdoors. Since I do not have a large enough backyard, I prefer to go to a nearby park or the Arcata community forest. Before embarking on my adventure, I take note of my current health and make a backpack of self-care goodies. On a typical day, my backpack consists of my yoga mat, a sketch book, my journal, the book I am currently reading, a fully charged phone, earbuds, water, snacks, and an extra jacket. I am very indecisive, and sometimes I’m not sure what I need but I just know that I need to get the hell out the house and clear my head, so I choose to bring many things.

Journaling is something that has been beneficial to me throughout my entire life. I encourage everyone to keep a journal. There are no restrictions on how much you should write, what you should write about, how often you write. Word vomiting on pages that no one will read is a cathartic experience. It can seem daunting at first, but I encourage everyone to try it. For those artistically inclined folks, maintaining a sketch journal is a great way to express oneself.

Reading is a great way to keep your mind active while diverting your attention to a singular object. In my experience, even if the book is heartbreaking or spooky or suspenseful, the act of reading is calming. I highly encourage everyone to support black authors and black owned bookstores now more than ever. There are so many book recommendations and information circulating social media right now, take note and educate yourself!

As always, bringing a friend or a pet is always encouraged. If you have chosen to go to a park, you can bring a blanket and watch clouds go by, soak up some sun, and bring enough snacks to consider it a picnic. If you have chosen the indoor self-care route, make sure to physically distance yourself from your phone when needed. Being in an uncluttered space is helpful for me if I choose to be indoors, as it avoids added stress of looking at all your Knick knacks that need to be sorted. This might be the reason why I’m outdoors so often.

In the end, my number one self-care technique is to go to therapy. I strongly believe that everyone should be in therapy and revisit a therapist throughout their lives. There are clinics that are doing zoom therapy sessions right now! If you are feeling too much or too little or like it’s time to talk to a professional, go for it! There is no shame in taking care of yourself. If you need assistance finding someone email ohsnap@humboldt.edu and one of us can meet with you and help you navigate finding a therapist!

Get some rest this week! Reconnect with yourself and let your mind be at ease.