If you’re anything like me, your fall semester ended much less gracefully than it started. In the midst of balancing plans with friends, events with clubs, final papers, and exams, I barely had time to stop and think about myself. No matter how hard I try to stay ahead and strike a balance between stress and wellness, I always end up overworked and overwhelmed throughout the final weeks of the semester. So, during the first weeks of the new year, I’ve taken a couple of preliminary measures to prevent myself from experiencing this type of burnout. Here are my tips on how to recenter yourself for the upcoming year.
Declutter Your Technology
The first step I took was reorganizing and clearing out my electronic devices. Constantly checking an overflowing email inbox with thousands of unread emails and a desktop with dozens of random files only makes me more stressed when I have a busy week. So, to set my technology up for the new year, I decided to clean up my inbox and reorganize my desktop by making folders to sort files I download for classes. If you want to preemptively declutter your email, you can unsubscribe from unwanted lists by scrolling to the bottom of emails and clicking “unsubscribe.”
After setting your desktop and inbox up for success, you should then reorganize your phone. If you always get messages warning your storage is almost full, take 30 minutes to delete some apps and photos. When going through my camera roll, I made an album of my favorite photos from 2022 and then put them together into a collage. I set this collage as my screensaver so I am reminded of all my great memories as I enter the new year. Seeing this collage, which captures so many great moments from 2022, made me feel less sad when deleting some of the photos I took throughout the year in my quest to clear up storage space.
New Year, New Playlist
Music is such an important part of my personal wellness. At the start of every year, I create my massive annual playlist. This year, I’ll add every song I listen to and enjoy to my 2023 playlist. So, whenever I want to listen to music to clear my mind, I know I’ll have a playlist I won’t get bored of because it has such a great variety of songs.
Over Winter Break, I listened to my “Discover Weekly” playlist—a playlist of fresh music Spotify generates for its users based on their previous music taste. Every Monday, the playlist regenerates, and the songs are usually from artists I have never listened to before. So, I’ve decided to take some time to listen to my Discover Weekly playlist each week in 2023. If you don’t use Spotify, you can also just do a quick Google search to find some artists similar to your favorite artists or ask your friends what artists and songs they have been enjoying recently. That way, you can find new songs to add to your go-to playlist while also taking time to decompress and clear your mind with some new tunes.
Make a Boston Bucket List
While making New Year’s resolutions can be helpful for some, I often find conventional resolutions—such as “go to the gym more” or “sleep more”—to be stress-inducing. I usually put a ton of pressure on myself to keep up with my resolutions early on in the year, and I then get frustrated when life gets busy and I can’t keep up with my goals.
So, this year, I decided to make a list of more realistic aspirations for 2023 instead of just setting traditional resolutions. Whenever I feel bogged down by my classwork, taking a second to leave the Boston College bubble always helps me to recenter myself as it reminds me there is more to life than my classes and on-campus activities. Keeping this in mind, when I made my list of aspirations for the year, I wrote down places in Boston I want to visit. I would push every BC student to make a 2023 “Boston bucket list” with restaurants, stores, or areas of Boston they want to explore. Some of my favorite spots to visit when I want a break from the BC bubble are LaMei Hot Pot and Brookline Booksmith—both of which are easily accessible by the T.
Taking time to recenter yourself will help prioritize your well-being throughout the upcoming year. By taking these steps, I hope you can center your new year on personal growth and wellness.