Calming Activities for a Break From a Hectic Quarter

By now, as the new quarter begins to take off, our schedules are becoming solidified and our classes are getting down to business. As the quarter goes on, it can seem harder and harder to take time out for yourself between classes, work, and other commitments. If the whole idea of “self-care” seems daunting or foreign to you, check out some of these small and easy ways to relax and ease your busy mind! 

Make a List – If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed and don’t know where you should start with the things on your plate, make a list! I have found that listing out all of the things I need to get done is very helpful in not only remembering important things, but also being able to prioritize what should be tackled first. Additionally, if you’re like me and find list making to be a calming activity, you should check out Moorea Seal’s “52 Lists” interactive books. I personally own “52 Lists for Happiness” and “52 Lists for Calm,” where each book contains 52 prompts for writing lists that encourage personal check-ins with yourself. 

Coloring Books – When adult coloring books started becoming more and more popular in the last few years, it took me a long time to get into it. The idea seems nice and relaxing — who doesn’t like to color? However, once I actually purchased an adult coloring book, it was actually incredibly stressful for me! For some, the more detailed, smaller spaces in these books’ designs can bring peace and concentration. For others, it causes stress around coloring outside the lines and having to pick the perfect colors sit well together. If you identify with the latter, what I realized was that nobody said you can’t use the bigger, more spacious coloring books that are more commonly purchased for kids! Currently, I own a Disney princess coloring book and I have no shame! Plenty of comfortable coloring room on each page and feel-good images that make me feel like a little kid. So when it comes to coloring books, find whichever one works best for you! 

Buy a Plant – If you’re not getting out in nature as much as you’d like because of your schedule, try buying a nice, leafy plant. Having that extra green foliage in your bedroom can lighten your mood and make you feel proud of yourself for taking care of it. Try finding a low-maintenance plant that grows nicely indoors. This way, you can write out a watering schedule for yourself so you can take those few minutes to take a break and observe your baby plant’s growth. If you’re not sure where to find a good plant, I recommend checking out the garden section in front of Trader Joe’s or even Home Depot for some inexpensive options. 

Take a Walk – San Diego has plenty of great spots to go on scenic hikes, which I definitely recommend checking out, but you might not exactly have the time to get out there as much as you’d like. So, next time you’re in your dorm, apartment, or in Geisel Library and you’re starting to feel the study session burn out, give yourself 15 minutes and go for a walk. It doesn’t need to be long; it can be just around the block. Whatever you can do to get yourself outside and get some blood pumping will be worth it for your well being!