There’s a phrase that you’ll probably know and it’s helped me appreciate what’s around me. We seem to do touristy things everywhere but where we live. Then people come do things we hadn’t ever done or haven’t thought of. Now, many of us are exploring and taking walks in the paths and trails near our homes offsetting this phenomenon. And it’s quite likely that we’ll never spend this much time getting used to our surroundings and of course, variety and going somewhere new is nice. But exploring around us gives a new perspective on living and being present. For me, I get to slow down and think about what’s important. It’s part of my self-care. I thought I’d share self-care because it’s reading week and so hopefully time to relax.
I think one thing that I’ve done better than before is being organised and having good time management skills. Something that comes with that is also an understanding that if I don’t feel right, I should take time off. In that aspect, online school has made me more disciplined and yet also more flexible. I now have a better work-life balance. As an international engineering student, I’m lucky my classes are recorded and I am always ‘behind’ when I catch up the previous day’s classes. I’m fine with that, whereas it might have annoyed me before. But I’ve got a lot better at being kind to myself. This has helped me from tiring out and actually losing sleep. And I think self-care is something that we gently talk about, but it rarely comes up first in conversations or maybe you feel guilty for taking a break. I think we should celebrate when people take time for themselves and it’s something we just expect people to have figured out or just do to look after themselves. But how should we know, as is rarely talked about and it’s not taught to us?
Walking helps me feel calmer and I get to slow down. In the future, I’d like to look back at this time at home, feeling present, remembering the small details and not rushing anything. Just being outside for me, breathing in the fresh air, chilly as it may be, and hearing the birds and the crunch of leftover leaves, gives me a good childish feeling. It’s good to de-stress and smile about silly things and slow down. There’s also something different for me when I exercise and when I don’t – exercise gives me more energy and I feel so drained if I don’t get enough in. It also mixes with a phase that I had in mind from the start. It’s that “I’ve visited more places than you and you’ve lived here your whole life (and never been there)” – feeling. Slow down for you.