My days are usually sequences of events following to-do lists.
Attend a uni lecture, participate in a uni tutorial, print lecture notes, file lecture notes, read notes before lecture, read notes after lecture, write lecture essays, zoom with project group mates. Most of my school days follow a routine largely founded on this structure, like many other students’ would too.
I enjoy writing to-do lists on my Moleskine journal and living each day according to the to-do list. (at least most of the time) For a glimpse of the ordinary day of a university student in Singapore, check out my blog post!
But inevitably, when I feel the shadows of a burnout lurking over my life, I like to have a healing, self-care day for myself. Instead of a “things I need to do” list, I write a “things I want to do” list. Especially in this period of Covid- which is lasting a lot longer than anybody would’ve imagined- I like to do a couple of things on my self-care days.
Here’s a few I’d like to share with you!
1. Write a blog post
Studying involves a lot of input.
Facts, statistics, definitions, expert opinions, exam structures and everything in between- need to be crammed into my brain. Studying isn’t all that bad (not that I’m sad it’s ending in 3 years’ time…), but just sometimes, it’s nice to focus on what I like, what I think and what I want to write about.
That’s why on my self-care days, I like to write a little blog post on “HanStyle” 🙂
2. Buy flowers
It’s funny how people change. When I was younger, I used to keep my distance flowers because they attracted bees and insects. Now, I like to get flower deliveries once in a while.
It’s an absolute joy to browse through flower catalogues, to snap away the excess leaves and arrange them in a vase.
3. Have family time
Spending time with friends, professors and cohort mates is on its own fun and fruitful, but nothing can beat family time. Our family of five talk, enjoy home-cooked meals, play Monopoly, and talk some more.
4. Watch a movie/series
Over my recent long break, I watched two series <That Winter, the wind blows> and <It’s okay, that’s love>. That’s right, the common factor is actor Jo In Sung 🙂 Both pieces were written by one of Korea’s best scripwriters, Noh Hee Kyung, who also wrote hits like <Dear my friends> and <Worlds Within>.
5. Get something sweet
A visit to Gastronomia, Paris Baguette, Asayona or Chateraise instantly makes me feel better. Just looking at the rows of delectable pastries and sweet goods is a healing for the heart 🙂
6. Read outdoors
Kindle, sunglasses, wallet, earphones and my phone are all I need. On my free day, I step outside and catch on reading my non-school texts, whether on the benches, in a cafe or nowadays in times of Covid, in my balcony.
7. Walk aimlessly in nature
Taking a walk with no particular destination in mind while taking in the surrounding nature really helps me wind down. I spend most of my days with a fixed destination, with fixed to-do lists.
Not thinking and just walking is perfect healing time.
8. Home yoga
On a day I’m not treading through piles of lecture notes and tutorial assignments, I like to roll out a mat from underneath my bed, sit straight with a MacBook in front of me, and (try to) follow the yoga moves of “YogaBoy”.
MacRitchie Reservoir Park and Botanic Gardens are perfect places for running.
For a view of beautiful flowers and quick access to great breakfast places, Botanic Gardens would be the better choice. For a challenging run up and down hills, MacRitchie would be my pick.
10. Visit a bookstore/library
Something that I can’t do so much nowadays in times of Covid.
The quiet, the smell of books and a scent distinctive of Kinokuniyas and NLBs in Singapore, the high shelves and people reading. The bookstore completely does away with the sense of dizziness and chaos that social media and endless Whatsapp messages bring, at least for the 1-2 hours I spend between the shelves.
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That’s it for the ten things I like to do on my rest days! Hope you have restful and happy self-care days too! 🙂
Cheers, Han Seol