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Student Self Care in Isolation

Words and Imagery by Kalani Selu


What can I say, worldwide we are all experiencing the same epidemic in which coronavirus has turned our normal pace lifestyles in the outside world, to home based adaptation. Being an extrovert this has become a strange challenge that I didn’t think I would struggle with. It’s crazy to finally be on a totally different side of my own life and realise all the small things I had taken for granted. Like making new friends in the women’s bathroom on a night out in town, or let’s be real just being with my friends, to hug them! The list goes on from catching a bus for travel to sitting next to my classmates at The Fashion Institute.

All this FOMO of not being in touch with people has lead your overthinking curly headed girl to self care in isolation. I mean, if there ever was a time to hit pause on the outside world and care about you – now would be the time. This is the time to unplug that white noise voice in our heads that says “I’ll start doing that tomorrow” because we don't have time, we don't have energy and doing this some how pushes ourselves under a list of “we have better things to do”.


YOU HAVE PURPOSE, SO LET’S PLAN!

What day is it today, Tuesday? Sound familiar? You might be suffering from lack of planning! Without routine in your week it is very easy to slip into the abyss of procrastination and let’s be real laziness. I would be lying to say I myself haven’t fallen into this place, but there is nothing worse then looking at your phone and realising you've just spent two hours on Instagram for no reason (R.I.P my Wi-Fi data usage). So the easiest way to stay on track of your goals and tasks is to write them down. I like to first write a list in no particular order, of what I need to achieve in the next week. From this list you can place it into your weekly schedule to look at for reference to what you will have to accomplish each day.

Pro-tip #1 would be to not overload on tasks to just one day... Spread them out, after all you have the whole week! Pro-tip #2 create your weekly planner on a digital format like WIX, you can then save it as a JPG to set as your phone background, keeping yourself accountable.


TIME TO RECHARGE AND SLEEP

What I would give to have a normal sleeping pattern. Personally I struggle with this one, because I can be such a night owl! For all my fellow nocturnal friends out there, sleep schedule can be hard and that's okay, no one is perfect. But sleep is so important for your health and over all well-being. I know I am not the only one found guilty for phone time or Netflix before bed. But try and limit screen time before bed as it’s actually harder to fall asleep.

Pro-tip #3, charge your phone far from reach and if you have a TV in your room, turn it off at the power point. Chances are, even if you think about getting up for either you’ll be too comfortable to bother. Stick to a sleep and rise timeframe that is consistent, inconsistency confuses your body and actually makes you more tried, or sleep in. Hungry? Try and resit before bed, any time before hand is up to you! But when you have sugar or caffeine, it travels through your blood stream and creates energy, which is the last thing you need when your trying to sleep. Pro-tip #4 try having water or herbal teas to resit that night time sweet tooth.


LET’S GET PHYISCAL

I have always enjoyed exercise from a young age, running around the softball diamond and would later continue this sport for another seventeen years. I guess, I have never been able to shake off that feeling after a good workout! Yes, I know this one is not everyone’s favourite but there are major benefits to getting that body moving. Because it is far more than helping with weight management, it boasts your mental and physical energy, increases bone and muscle health, reduces risks of heart diseases and helps your learning skills. I’ve been loving cardio exercises with the Kayla app, in which she caters to your goals and fitness level, whether you’re a beginner or not.

Pro-tip #5 get a workout app, as it is extremely rewarding tracking your progress. Not a cardio kind of person? That’s totally fine, exercise can mean a lot of things! Mix it up, walk up a mountain, run around a lake, try yoga, bike ride around your suburb, try a form of dance like contemporary or Zumba! Pro-tip #6 get a workout buddy wether they are your sister or a virtual Zoom friend in another city, having a buddy keeps you both accountable for your workouts and is a great way to stay in touch.


RELAX, REFRESH, RENEW, REJUVENATE.

Its been a long time coming and you deserve that at home Spa Day! Has anyone let the quarantine life take over on caring about that unwashed hair? It’s okay you’re still cute, but let’s take a day and really indulge in self care. For everyone this is different maybe you don't need to shave your legs to feel like a queen, maybe all you need is a facial! But for me, I love to be extra in this area. Having a bath bomb bubble bath with a face mask on, vanilla caramel scented candles, exfoliation brush, coffee scrubs, hair mask and nail polish at the end is my kind of Spa Day.

Pro-tip #7 don't forget that portable speaker, use this time to listen to your favourite songs or The Fashion Institute’s amazing Social Careers Series! I always recommend a bath as the hot water makes your blood more oxygenated and flow easier, this allows you to take deeper breaths and calm any racing thoughts. Pro-tip #8 if you have any sore muscles or want to gain greater flexibility, stretching after a bath is the time to do it! All your muscles are relaxed and it should make it a bit easier.


BE BRAVE TO BE BAD A SOMETHING NEW


Some people are born with undeniable natural raw talent and some aren’t, but the common denominator is that both kinds of people have to start at their beginning to become their great. For me it has taken practice from my love of drawing as a kid, I would go around my class and ask my friends if I could draw them in outfits. Little did I know this was the start of my fashion love but that's another story. Since I’ve had more time getting creative in quarantine, for me this looks like drawing Kerrie Hess inspired pieces, watercolour painting and baking cakes. I’m no artist but it's a start. Lets not forget to keep that mind active, try reading a book or starting a puzzle.


TOGETHER APART


Probably one of my most important points during this crazy time of COVID-19, is to stay connected to your loved ones, friends and family that aren’t living with you. Being at The Fashion Institute has helped me with this one, as I get to be in a class and interact with other students. By having that human connection, it has made times apart, just a little brighter. If you don’t currently have an online class its’s simple, FaceTime your Aunt, Zoom chat with friends or send a text. You’ll find that even though things have changed, the people you care about haven’t. Talking to loved ones helps us release stress and increase our self esteem. Overall loved ones help us make better life decisions and rebound from any worries or concerns that this time has caused.


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