The Ultimate Exam Season Self-Care: How to Reign the Panic In and Breathe

By: Hanya

It’s been a while since I have written a self-care piece and with all this finals stress environment, I just thought what better time? There are so many things  on our to-do list that we started to forget ourselves amidst all the chaos, and I think that creates even more unneeded stress and depression that could have easily been avoided.

Taking some time for yourself in between studying is neither irresponsible nor stupid in any way so you shouldn’t torment yourself about it. I know I say this all the time and you might even be tired of hearing me say this, but I won’t stop. You are a living thing. That alone is so fascinating and beautiful- to be able to have this life. You are human. And I really don’t think this should be taken lightly; give words their full meaning and rights!

I also don’t know why people still think self-care is just slapping a face mask on your face, you can do that and have a million thoughts dancing around in your mind and next thing you know your brow is furrowed and you have this big ass snarl on your face. This is really not any form of self-care so please just stop doing that and calling it “self care”.

Self-care is flexible and it varies as do personalities. If you feel comfortable and relaxed when drawing then wake up early, make a cup of chamomile tea, and start drawing in the beautiful morning sun. If you like organisation then take a look at your room and start analysing how everything can look better. Put some music on and sing along or work in silence. Treat yourself to a good meal at that restaurant you’ve always wanted to try out without waiting for someone to go with you. Take a walk around your neighbourhood and maybe take pictures of the people around you and observe how different their life may be from yours, make up stories of old balconies. You see, self care is not simply taking a bath, its doing what you love and allowing yourself breathing space whichever way your heart desires and make it good.

The thing is, self-care is so personal and I cannot tell you what to do, Ii can only suggest things to help you or trigger your own thoughts of self care. You need to see what’s best for you and dive into it. You’re practically guaranteed a better mood; improving your productivity and ability to focus on your studies. So it’s not “tadyee3 wa2t” rather “ekhtesar wa2t”.

As an IG student, I have a lot of long gaps between each subject’s test so I like to take a couple of days off to unwind and work on myself. I also don’t use the term “final exam” and try to keep it simple and just say test or assessment. This is such a tiny thing but it relieves me of and spares me the stress. I like to wake up at 5 AM, way before the world is up, make a cup of steaming coffee and fill a 2 litre bottle with water. I head to my balcony and start watering my plants and talk to each of them with some music in the background. When I’m completely satisfied and done with coffee breakfast, I make a beeline to the bathroom and start cleansing and exfoliating, followed up with a toner, mask, then end with a good thick layer of moisturiser. I usually lay everything in its place messily until that self-care day to tidy and organise everything around. After I’m done I love to take 30 minutes to meditate; I find that this completely changes my mood! With all of that done, I sit and start to work, only because I am a workaholic and I just can’t stop for the life of me and yeah, I do enjoy it. Shocker.

{obviously, I can’t do coffee now due to Ramadan, but that changes nothing about the rest of my day, hydrate as much post Iftar!}

You can do all of this or none of this, taking care of yourself is up to you. Find out who you are as a person and what sparks your interest and relaxes you. Tweak and try and don’t stop until you’ve found your own thing, something that completely rejuvenates you. Don’t rest until you’re satisfied – whether it is face masks and bubble baths or yoga or practicing mindfulness or walking your dog or whatever other activity, it is yours. And I pray, for your sake, don’t stop drinking 3 litres of water and don’t stop eating this season. Finals can be hell but you owe your body health, love, and affection. You are nothing less than this and you definitely do not deserve anything less either. This may be your “future on the line”, but nothing will come from you being anything less than healthy and happy.

This one goes to all the students that feel overwhelmed and pressured; you’re going to be okay and everything will settle the way you like, peacefully.

May you always feel blessed and content,

Hanya xx

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