The little things.
As we approach the final week of a heavy first term, I’ve been reflecting on the things that helped me get through it with my sanity intact. And I realised that most of these were the small, seemingly inconsequential stuff. Hopefully there’s something in here that you’ll decide to try for yourself, to help you survive the rough waters of SCA.
Looking after my plants
It’s a quick and easy way to fit some self-care into an otherwise hectic schedule. I won’t bore you with the science-y stuff that you probably already know but being around plants is proven to help decrease levels of anxiety and improve your attention span. And despite the lack of sunlight in Britain causing the wilting of a few, it’s nice to look after something and to see its growth as a result of my care. I guess it also doesn’t hurt that my favourite colour’s green.
Yes, I purposely used the word ‘hoard’ instead of ‘collect’. Because my mind works on auto-pilot whenever I see candles in a store. I see a candle, I buy a candle. I especially love the ones that crackle like a fireplace – they provide a nice bit of white noise whenever I’m trying to relax my mind. I even started collecting the jars so that one day, when I have the time, I can learn how to make my own.
Opening my curtains
I used to be a night owl. Not so much anymore. I’m pretty sure I went weeks without opening my curtains during the first bout of the c-word. Now, the new me, reborn in the early part of 2021 opens her curtains every morning. I’ll admit the view isn’t all that great during the greyer months, but it feels a lot healthier than working in a dungeon all day.
Eating my guilty-pleasure foods
As someone who once went six months without eating any artificial sugar, this is one that I will say took a lot of convincing. My guilty foods are chips, snicker bars and white chocolate magnum ice-cream. The course is stressful as it is without having an internal battle every time you want a sweet treat. So devour that snicker bar, or two. Just, as with most other things in life, do it in moderation. Which leads me to my last bit of advice.
Go on holiday
(Or just take a break). And remind yourself of the world outside of SCA. I’ll be spending three weeks in the sunny city of Miami, FL over the Christmas break, taking pictures of palm trees, buying more candles, and eating way more guilty foods than I should. But I’ll also be using it as a way to reset by getting back into my workout schedule, eating more than one meal a day, and collecting some dots (if you know, you know) in another part of the world.
So I’ll see you in three weeks. And maybe I’ll do a SCAB about those aforementioned dots that I’ve collected.