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MIT student blogger Afeefah K. '21

The Subtle Art of Being Unhosed by Afeefah K. '21

what i've learned and what i'm still working on

Hi world, it’s me!!! I haven’t been writing on the blogs much because I’ve been spending most of my writing ability and brain power working on a bunch of applications for something that I’m not ready to announce just quite yet. I promise there will be a blog post about this sometime in the future. That plus my involvement with MIT’s fall planning plus my remote internship have kept me HOSED. Compared to past summers, I’ve been so swamped that sometimes there are no 9-5s. Sometimes there are no weekends either. I kind of feel like I’m back at MIT in that regard. Part of feeling this way is probably also a consequence of quarantine, what is time anyways. 

I keep telling myself that if I push through the things I’m working on now, I’ll eventually get to a point where I have the time to really focus on me. I’ll reach this sweet spot where I can just take care of myself and do the things I enjoy. I’m realizing now that such a time never really comes. The reality is, there is always going to be something to do, whether it’s a chore around the house or something for work. So, the question arises. How does one unhose themself? After all, spending every waking moment feeling like you’re functioning on max capacity is really entirely absolutely not healthy. 

I’m realizing that I have to start making time, even if it’s literally just ten minutes, for me. Life isn’t divided into “hosed” and “unhosed” phases, each day is its own thing. I shouldn’t be waiting around for things to slow down, I should be taking care of myself right now in this moment. So, here’s a few ways I’ve been trying to be better about self-care (p.s. I’m really bad at sticking to these kinds of things, so we’ll see how long it lasts): 

  • I’m listening to music for the sake of listening to music, not just because I need background noise while studying or doing chores around the house
  • When I get the chance, I try to spend one whole minute standing outside and staring at the sky, bonus points if I can see stars.
  • I try my best to spend at least 30 minutes every day doing absolutely nothing. No phone. No laptop. No conversation. I mainly end up just staring at the ceiling or staring out the window. But it’s kind of nice to just rest my brain?
  • I’ve been really bad about this one, but I try to write in a physical journal everyday. I’m not stressing myself out with the expectation that everything I write has to be profound. Sometimes I will literally write two words, other times I scribble with markers. It just helps declutter my mind. 
  • I’ve started building in me-time into my daily schedule. 5:30 PM is for Chloe Ting and the 5 minutes before I go to bed are for my recently-developed skin care routine. Acne scars be gone. 

So far, these little things have been making me feel significantly better about myself. Even though I just typed out a whole list, I’ve found that self-care doesn’t have to be this elaborately planned out thing. All it really comes down to is introducing mindfulness into my daily routine and starting to accept that my acts of service can be targeted towards myself too. *cue all the cheesy quotes about self love and prioritizing yourself and living in the moment* but hey it’s all true. If you’re still reading this consider this my PSA to go do something for yourself today. You deserve it.