It’s that time of year. Everyone seems to have come back from Thanksgiving break with a renewed hatred for their 8 a.m. classes, a strengthened desire to lay down and never get back up again, and a serious case of the sniffles.

With December and the colder weather being a particularly significant time for stress and sickness, here is your reminder to: be kind to yourself.  This could be different for everyone. Whether it means talking to a professor and asking for an extension so you can get a little sleep, taking the time to cook a healthy meal, or sacrificing an episode of Gilmore Girls to get some exercise. Your health and happiness always comes before your grades, work, internship, etc.

Now, I’m not saying give up entirely and don’t take care of your duties, but all too often, I see people in need of some serious self-care and sleep. People who are willing to put academics or work first. I get it. I do it, too. But if you’re feeling burnt out, unhappy, or just plain sick, try following these steps.

1. Ask for an extension.


A lot of people don’t know that you can do this, but you can! Send your professor a note, explain what’s going on, and nicely ask for a little extra time. Professors are people, too – you’d be surprised how understanding many of them can be.

2. Sleep.


I mean it. Really. Get some sleep. Your schedule should NOT be so full that you no longer have time to rest.

3. Get yourself organized.

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You can’t do everything at once. Make a plan, break down what you need to do in manageable steps, and take it slowly.

4. Meditate.


Meditation and yoga can be a really helpful way to unwind, breathe, and relax. It can also make you newly re-energized and boost your immune system!

5. Eat healthy food and exercise.


Yeah, grabbing McDonald’s and binge watching Netflix is easy, but your body will thank you if you eat some broccoli and go for a quick walk.

6. Eliminate distractions.


When you’re focusing on schoolwork, be all there. Don’t check social media, don’t text, don’t watch Netflix. Your brain performs better when it isn’t multitasking, and incorporating breaks into your study routine will help you absorb information.

7. If all else fails, keep a countdown.


We’re almost there! Keep calm, keep a clear head, and keep your eye on winter break.