Being in Spain is wonderful and a lot of fun. There’s exciting and new things to do, and places to visit, and of course there’s homework and socializing, making time for friends and family back home, dealing with bureaucratic things sometimes, and the patriarchy and racism and all the other isms, and eating, showering, trying not to be late to things… the list goes on. One of the top things on that list however should always be personal self-care; what you do to relax, unwind, and recuperate your sense of mental well being after a long and hectic day. It’s essential to set aside – or even make time- for this. It’ll keep you from getting sick and also keep you sane when you feel like there’s way too much to do or going on.
Personally, my self-care has melded into my evening ritual of showering before or after dinner, watching something I enjoy on Netflix or YouTube, while I maybe knit a bit, and drinking chamomile tea and cleaning my new piercing (it’s doing great by the way, and so cheap here too!). I also really enjoy listening to guided meditations and while I usually can’t fit them into my morning routine, I like listening to some in the evening. Journaling, reaching out/venting to friends, listening to music while I clean my room a bit is also really helpful.
If you decide to take class at university it will likely be an hour commute. Spaniards are not afraid to commute to places, and it’s actually the perfect time to do some homework or get ahead on work. Your commutes can also become very meditative. They’re great for listening to music, podcasts, guided meditations.
Catching up with friends, or venting about a stressful day to siblings, communicating with others can be really therapeutic and cathartic to some. I really enjoy hearing about what my friends back home are up to, and facetiming with my family on an almost weekly basis. You don’t wanna do it so often that you make yourself homesick, but you also don’t want to isolate yourself.
Self-care is immensely important and it can mean a lot of different things to people. It’s also very easy to be so caught up with things to forget to take care of yourself. So when you notice you’re feeling frazzled and overwhelmed, take a deep breath and step back. Something that really helps me is getting the small things done first so that my mind isn’t trying to keep track of a million things I have to do. Writing a list down is also super helpful and putting it to paper alone can take some of the weight of trying to remember everything. All in all remember to make time to love and appreciate yourself and all the things you do.