By Brittney Bonner, Spring 2012
Self care is a well-known concept at Alliant International University; the doctoral program attendees hear these words preached from day one. However, one question arises in this writer's mind every time these words are mentioned: What is my self-care routine? What do I do for this notion of self preservation in this incredibly busy and difficult world called academia? This is a matter I'm sure most have faced. How do we address this very important issue while being so preoccupied with work and living on a student's budget? The answer is easier than one might think.
If what you seek is an everyday self-care hobby, try something you are probably already doing: cooking, for example. Instead of seeing this as an everyday need, try to use cooking's therapeutic powers to your advantage. There is an element of calmness that can be found chopping vegetables or sautéing meats that, once discovered, can be an extremely useful therapeutic tool. Also, try new recipes to add an element of fun to your routine. If you stay within a budget, cooking can be a fun and inexpensive self-care measure. Other hobbies that could be tried include drawing or painting, which can be a little more expensive; however, with the price of one massage you can get all the supplies that you need. Gardening is another hobby that can prove to be helpful in maintaining balance. If you live in a home without room for planting, try planting an herb garden for your kitchen or get a flower box for your window.For a self care plan that is a break from your normal routine, there are a number of great deals and ideas that this great city provides. If your wish is to experience a bit of culture, the San Francisco Ballet offers a student discount for the purchase of same-day tickets that can be as little as $10-20. If you would like to take in a show, the American Conservatory Theatre offers preview days of all their shows which range from $10-15 per ticket and weekday shows, not previews, start at just $22. Local museums also offer free museum days every month. Free first Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays are offered every month from a number of Bay Area museums. San Francisco also offers a number of beautiful parks to enjoy. A park potluck with a group of friends could be an inexpensive and creative idea for self-care and fun with the friends from whom your work has kept you away.
Although these are just a few ideas for this notion of self-care we as students so need, there are a number of other options out there. These thrifty and therapeutic ideas might just be the jolt you need to revamp yourself this semester without draining your wallet. So the next time you experience the desire to spend a significant amount of money at a day spa or on retail therapy, remember that there are thriftier alternatives if you so desire.