To begin this brief self-care session we will practice a form of meditation with proven health benefits: ranting. Honestly, let it all out. There’s a lot going on right now. I’ve compiled a list of things you might be stressed about to help get the process started:
- North Korea: could possibly blow itself or someone else up at any moment
- Trump: not working to fix climate change, mixing church and state, suspicious level of deregulation, generally not having a lot of experience with a lot of the problems that he’s facing, admitting he didn’t know everything would be this complicated
- War in Syria, conflict elsewhere in the Middle East, refugee crises
- Russia doing whatever it is that Russia is doing
- Flint, Michigan: still no water???
- Standing Rock
- Police Brutality
- What do we do about health care? What does Paul Ryan want?
- Polarization: income inequality, people don’t trust the media or each other
- Fake news
- Killings on Facebook
- Biologists can play with human DNA and we’re not sure how to feel because it’s cool if we can fix things but what are we doing messing with the thing that makes us people? Weird stuff, man.
- Rising sea levels, the bees dying, glaciers melting, all the other symptoms of global warming being ignored so that oil companies can still make bank
- End-of-term papers and final projects
- Exams next week
Now that we’ve gotten all that out of our systems, here are some tips to getting through the next couple of weeks. Take a deep breath and:
- Try to eat something other than coffee or veggie straws or caffeine pills. (The following message is to my roommate: seriously chill with the caffeine pills that’s a gateway drug and the gateway leads to death.)
- Squeeze in as much sleep as you can. I know we all pretend like we don’t believe what any study says about not being able to learn and memorize things on no sleep, but come on, remember that time you were super tired and you put your pants on backwards or forgot to put your keys in the ignition and wondered why your car wouldn’t start? Yeah, me neither, but like maybe there’s still something to it.
- Drink water. AKA stay alive.
- Remind yourself that grades aren’t everything: even if you manage to do well you’re not guaranteed a job, especially as many jobs will be taken over by robots in the coming years. But seriously, grades aren’t everything. Don’t worry too much.
- Don’t read or watch the news for the next two weeks. You’ll get sucked into the never-ending vortex of despair, or into the repetitive cycle of Kellyanne Conway’s circular assertions of all the ways what you think you heard the president say is not actually what the president said. There’s no time for that. Just focus on what’s in front of you.
- Don’t waste time being mad at yourself for procrastinating and spending every lecture on Twitter so now you have to learn everything for the first time three hours before the exam. The criticism is fair, but there’s no use berating yourself now.
So to sum it all up: do your best, remember the basic health necessities (sleep, food and water), and try to ignore all the other problems parading themselves on your newsfeed.