Finding ways to relax in pharmacy school is so important for your mental health. School can be extremely stressful and draining on our minds. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is to put down our notes and give our brain the break it deserves. I, myself, am guilty of claiming so many times that I couldn’t afford to take a break from studying, in order to do whatever it was that I wanted to. I would try and study all weekend for an exam, to the point that I wouldn’t even leave my apartment or let alone my room really, the entire time. By Sunday, I would literally feel like I was going crazy from being cooped up all weekend at my desk. That was definitely not a recipe for mental well being, but it also wasn’t helpful for productive studying. What I have found over the years, is that I am SO much more productive and focused on my notes when I am in a good mood, and when I am not burnt out. Taking the time to relax or to do something I enjoy helps me feel refreshed and ready to tackle my studies. Here are some of my favorite ways to relax:
Baths –I have taken baths my entire life and I still love them. In my opinion there are few things in life that beat the feeling of relaxing in a hot bath after a long day. I love adding bubbles, bath oils or bath bombs for that extra luxurious experience. My favorites lately have been Lush bath bombs. These come in so many options: gorgeous ones for a bath water spectacle, jelly/oil options for added moisture and a variety of scents that can relax you or uplift your spirits. Throw in some wine on top of my favorite bath bomb and I’m pretty sure I instantly go to heaven.
Pamper yourself – Whatever it is that makes you feel revitalized, do it. Whether that is a massage, putting on a face mask or getting a mani pedi, treating yourself makes you feel happy and more relaxed. During fourth year (P2), which is the hardest year of our program, I got a gel manicure religiously every 3 weeks. It was so relaxing when I got them done and they also made me feel like I had my life together, while school was crazy (highly recommend).
Candles – I love candles…they are a perfect mood booster, make your room smell great and are a super cute decor piece. My go to during the semester are aromatherapy candles. I love to light them when I am studying. They help put me in a better mood and make me feel more relaxed, which often times helps me focus on my notes without being stressed out. Plus, they give me some great ambience for my study sessions.
Exercise –Working out when I am stressed feels so good. I get to take all of my stress and frustration out on my work out. I feel more productive and positive when I get a good work out in, plus the endorphin release doesn’t hurt either. Finding time to get to the gym with my busy schedule can be hard, but even if it is for 30 minutes to an hour it is so worth it. If you don’t have a membership or a school gym near, doing at-home workouts can be just as great!
Reading – Reading has always been a relaxing activity for me. It feels so good to escape my hectic life for a little while and dive into a new world. I haven’t had the time lately to start any big books, but I am looking forward to reading Milk and Honey, and The Sun and Her Flowers, both by Rupi Kaur. I see people reading from these books all of the time and love the poetry they post from it, it seems like the perfect little pick-me-up quick read when I need a break.
Wishing everyone a great semester! Don’t forget to take some time for yourselves along the way.