The freeing feeling that comes with finishing your last final… IT’S SUMMER TIME! You get all excited and now finally have time to catch up with old laundry, cleaning and binge watching that show that has been on your list all school year. But then it hits you, what else can you do for fun and explore? We have curated a list of fun things that you can do this summer!
Find a Park: Find your local beach/park (or maybe plan a road trip!) and enjoy the outdoors.
2023 Southern California Events and Festivals Fairs: Here are their dates and where they will be this summer/incoming fall. We can smell the turkey legs and fried-everything already.
If you’re still unsure, here is an extensive list of other fun ideas!
25 Best Things to Do in California (2023): Still unsure? Here is a miscellaneous list of what to do this summer, find one that best fits you.
Remember, you do not need to go all out to enjoy your summer. Something as simple as packing up a quick snack and sitting outside can help you re-energize by taking in that Vitamin C! Additionally, it is IMPORTANT to take a break to recharge from the school year. We know you worked your butt off and to prevent burn out, remember to take a deep breath and relax.
Let’s Go wishes you a safe and fun summer!
According to Help Guide, burnout is “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.” This can happen in any setting: personal life and obligations, work, and especially school. With having to deal with all the changes due to the pandemic, it is no surprise that many of us have checked out long ago. The lack of physical interaction with family and friends, the change between in-person to virtual work/ school, and the losses of family and loved ones to the pandemic have all left us emotionally vulnerable. On top of this, workplaces and academia are still expecting the same, if not, better results from us which makes dealing with personal issues even harder.
Symptoms of burnout include:
- Feeling tired and drained most of the time.
- Lowered immunity, frequent illnesses
- Frequent headaches or muscle pain
- Change in appetite or sleep habits
- Sense of failure and self-doubt
- Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated
- Detachment, feeling alone in the world
- Loss of motivation
- Increasingly cynical and negative outlook
- Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment
If you recognize any of these symptoms, you might be facing burnout. As things begin to reopen in California, you might feel rushed to return “back to normal” however, it is ok to still be processing everything that has happened this past year. We are all experiencing this pandemic in a variety of ways and you should not feel rushed into being okay with everything that has happened. For this reason, we advise you to also take a break this summer from academia if that is something you need.
Other ways to confront burnout include:
- Setting boundaries: You don’t have to say yes to everything you are asked to do! Value your needs first.
- Use your time off: Use your pay time off, you earned it! In addition, take a break during the summer! This is the time to recharge and prepare for the upcoming semester.
- Indulge in things you enjoy: Sometimes we feel guilty for “wasting time” on things we enjoy, but there is no waste in doing something that helps/ betters you! You are investing in your well-being and that is valuable.
These are just three tips to avoid burnout but the most important thing is recognizing it is happening. By recognizing it, you are then able to pace yourself and schedule yourself back on track! Burnout is normal and we all experience it, you deserve a break. We all do.
Source: HelpGuide – Burnout Prevention and Treatment
By: Let’s Go
The holiday season is upon us! While this can be a time of celebration with family and friends, this can also be a stressful time for college students and their families. A lot of money and time goes into these celebrations that not everyone has the means for. In addition, for vulnerable students like low-income, houseless, and queer students this can be a time of stress and uncertainty.
However, in times like these, we can depend on community and mutual aid because we have each other’s back. Below we have listed different resources college students and their families can hopefully benefit from.
Food Banks: Offers free food such as non-perishables, fruits, and vegetables.
Find a Food Bank
California Food Banks
Shelters: If you are seeking emergency shelter or a safe place to stay during the holiday/ winter season, here is CA’s shelter directory:
Emergency and Homeless Shelters – United Way 211
California Homeless Shelters – California
COVENANT HOUSE CALIFORNIA – Serving homeless youth in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay area
Queer Resources: For some queer students, college is the perfect escape to find and embrace who they are without the fear of rejection. This can sometimes make going back home difficult. Below are LGBTQ resources like CSU centers, self-care guide, and county and statewide resources you can access.
LGBTQIA Centers | CSU
Holiday Gifts- Have a young child in your life? Here are some centers and organizations that host toy drives:
Get FREE Christmas Gifts & Food In California!
Free Christmas and holiday assistance Los Angeles County
By: Let’s Go
The holidays can be a stressful time for some and may even bring up feelings of sadness. It is normal to have these feelings and let them be felt. Knowing a couple of coping skills can help you keep grounded when anxious feelings come up.
Disclaimer: These are just tips and not actual advice from a health professional. This is not to replace a form of therapy.
If you are spending time with your family members this holiday season, you may know the feeling of being uncomfortable with some of the things they say or because of the way they act. This is normal. We do not have perfect families. Do yourself a favor and set boundaries with them. Although this can be a bit difficult, it is very well worth it.
- Recognize your triggers and predict them. A “trigger” is considered a difficult situation or event. Always try to be one step ahead of your triggers by:
- Knowing what they are
- Recognizing the emotions that are brought up
- How you can best take care of yourself
- How you plan to respond to it
- Know that “No” is not enough
- Some were taught that saying “no” is not polite or safe. However, “no” should always be enough. Other alternatives are “I feel uncomfortable,” “no, this is inappropriate,” “no, I am leaving,” or “I don’t want to have that conversation.” These alternatives are a better approach to saying “no” and clearly state your needs.
- Be clear about your needs and communicate them
- Identify your needs and boundaries in advance with others. We all have different limits and we have every right to set them. Once you have identified your limits, communicate them clearly and kindly.
Once you have established your boundaries, you should begin to learn to cope with them. Keeping a list of coping skills can help you stay calm when certain triggers appear. Here is a list of a few coping skills that may help you:
- Deep breaths and count to 10 slowly:
- Take a few deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling slowly. When you are ready, count to 10 slowly. If you prefer, count to 20.
- Write down your thoughts
- Have a journal where you can write down what is making you feel anxious, angry or upset. Writing down these thoughts gets them out of your head and can make it less daunting.
- Practice mindfulness
- Mindfulness can help ground yourself in the reality of what’s around you. Anxiety attacks can cause a feeling of detachment or separation from reality, practicing mindfulness can combat these anxious feelings as they approach or actually happen. Focus on physical sensations, such as digging your feet into the ground or feeling objects near you. These sensations ground you firmly in reality and give you an object to focus on.
- Engage in light exercise
- Walking and moving your body can remove you from a stressful environment and moving can help regulate your breathing. Moving around, whether it be by running, taking a nice stroll, or lifting weights, releases endorphins that relax the body and improve mood. Regularly exercising can help reduce anxiety over time.
- The 5-4-3-2-1 method
- The 5-4-3-2-1 method is a grounding technique and a type of mindfulness. It helps to direct your focus away from the source of stress. To use this method, you should complete the following steps slowly and thoroughly:
- Look for 5 different objects: think about them for a short while, are the colors bright? Is the object round or a different shape?
- Listen for 4 different sounds: think about where they came from and how they are different from each other
- Touch 3 different objects: consider if the object is hot or cold, how does the texture feel and what are they are used for
- Identify 2 different smells: it can be any smell, your coffee/tea, your soap, or your laundry detergent
- Look for 1 thing you can taste: notice the taste in your mouth, is it sour or sweet? How does the texture feel?
Setting Goals Being SMART
It’s the beginning of the new year! After 2022 feeling like an eternity, we all carry with us a sense of optimism that 2023 will bring positive change. Although there are external forces beyond our control, as students we can and should still continue planning for the future and setting goals.
You can set goals for anything! Your goals may regard academics, health, or other personal matters. Regardless of what your goals are, however, you can use a SMART approach to achieve them. Read below for tips on how to set and complete your objectives!
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Thinking through each of these encourages us to think about the aspects of our goals.
Be as specific as possible with your goal. What exactly do you want to be done? The clearer your objective is, the easier it will be to identify what you need to do.
Let’s say my goal is to be “be healthier,” this year. Health encompasses many aspects! With a goal like this, it may be hard to know where to begin. If I narrow my goal to sleeping more, it may seem more plausible than just “being healthier.”
Keep track of your goal. Find a way to measure or quantify your progress so you know whether or not you are moving forward. Remember that everyone and every goal will vary! How much I can achieve and how much I should achieve will depend on my personal capacity and target.
Going back to sleeping more as a goal, I can start by assessing where I am currently at. If I find that I only sleep 5 hours a night, what are the measurable steps I can take towards sleeping more. Can I start sleeping 6 hours next week, 7 hours the week after that, and then 8 hours after that? My timeline may end up differing, but I know I will have achieved my goal when I finally consistently sleep 8 hours a night.
Be realistic with what can be achieved. Is your goal something that is plausible given your constraints and resources? Of course, always shoot for the stars but take small and possible steps while you get there.
If I have poor sleeping habits, it may very well be impossible to change the way I sleep in a matter of a few days. I simply cannot go from sleeping 5 hours to a full 8 hours in a span of two days. I need to assess and change habits, get rid of obstacles, and more; therefore, I should step back and think about what actually can be done.
Make sure your goal matters to you. Are you trying to reach your goal because others want you to, or because you feel pressured to do so? As long as you deem your goal important, it is.
When speaking to a friend, I may find that they don’t think of sleeping more as a goal. Remember, it is your life, and you can do with your time what you think is worthwhile.
Set a timeline. Think about how long you would like to take to achieve your goal. Some timelines may be more flexible than others. Personal goals can be met whenever you want, but other goals like academics may be more restrictive. Whatever it is, make sure you are aware of the time you have available.
Being SMART helps you think of various aspects of your goals. As you think about goals this year and beyond, use these questions as guidance:
- What exactly do I want?
- How will I know I am achieving it?
- Is my goal within my reach?
- Does this goal matter to me?
- When do I want or need this goal accomplished?