Wellbeing in uncertain times: 6 tips 


 

Wellbeing; noun: “the state of being comfortable, happy, and healthy.”

This week is wellbeing week at the VU. It is prime time for this; the weather is getting colder and students are emerging from exam week feeling tired and overworked. Now is a great time to check in with yourself. 

Perhaps deadlines are on the horizon, social plans, job applications. And yet, for all this looking ahead, you feel you’ve left yourself somewhere behind. Thankfully, a bit of self-care can help bring your mojo back. Here are some tips to help you feel refreshed for Period 2. 

 

Firstly, plan some time for yourself.

No matter how busy you are, you cannot get through the week without some downtime and you’ll find this will have a positive impact on how you use your other time too. This means doing something you enjoy, every day. Whether that is watching your favorite TV show or cooking a nice meal, make sure you schedule this time for yourself. Most importantly, don’t feel guilty for not using every hour in a ‘productive’ way. After all, measuring productivity without regard for your own happiness is not productive at all. 

Go for a walk (in a coat, of course, we aren’t getting ill) for at least half an hour, listening to your favorite songs.

I asked my friends what they would recommend for a calming walk. They said: Leon Bridges’ ‘Gold Sounds’, Sharron Van Eten and Sufjan Stephens. Alternatively, there are plenty of playlists on Spotify for every mood. 

Walking without any purpose is remarkably therapeutic and very different to speed walking to lectures. It gives you endorphins, counts as exercise, and gives you time to reflect. With the beautiful autumn colors around, it’s hard to feel miserable after this. 

Do something for yourself.

How much time do we genuinely dedicate to indulging in our own passions? You could join a group (ahem, ESN), go to one of Amsterdam’s many museums, or do something creative. Perhaps you could even book a short getaway and see some more of Europe?

The possibilities are endless, the important point is to actively pursue something you want to do rather than putting it off or waiting for it to come to you.

 

DO YOUR LAUNDRY AND TIDY YOUR ROOM!

And wash up and make your bed and hoover!!

You can’t thrive in a limiting environment; tidy room= tidy mind, I promise. Maybe you could even buy a plant to make it look nicer? There is a great assortment at De Pijp market (see below).

Do something for others.

Well-being may spring to mind thoughts of self-care, but supporting others is also rewarding! Be it a genuine compliment, a hug, or giving up some time to proofread their essay, it will get you thinking about others and the bigger picture.

Break the routine.

Break out of harmful mindsets and toxic lifestyle choices. Maybe lay off the alcohol for a few days and go to bed before 2 am, or plan some social time to avoid isolation. Go to the gym knowing it will make you feel happy and proud of yourself. Self-care is putting yourself, your health, and your happiness first, even if it isn’t always your top priority.