As Justin Bieber Says, You Gotta 

"Love Yourself" 

by Binisha Patel

February has rolled around once again, and no matter if you’re in a relationship or not during the month of love, there is one thing Duke students have in common at this time. The first round of spring midterms has come to obliterate your existence. It’s already been a rough semester between getting oriented to classes, going through rush or watching your friends go through rush, thinking about housing as an independent, all while maintaining your sanity until the highly sought after spring break.


And it’s been hard. Oh so hard. Every week, you think of how close you are to the weekend. Every day, you think of how many days are left until you can go home. Every class, you think of how much time is left until you can go back to your room. Because it’s been so hard.


When was the last time you took out time to take care of yourself? It’s been a pretty long time. So what’s stopping you now? Take the time to take care of yourself. It’s a stressful time of the year, and it’s going to take a toll on your mental and physical health. Go ahead. Take that mental health day off. You deserve it. Go outside, sit in the grass, have a picnic with some friends. Eat that chocolate you really wanted to but you couldn’t break your resolution. Do what makes you happy. Go to the gym. Take a Zumba class. Be prepared for the flu season. Watch what you eat. Do what makes your body feel good. Take care of yourself.


And why should you? Because if one person is required to love you, it is yourself. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings. If you think or feel anything that might be negative about yourself, stop right there. You are great. And you should take care of yourself so you can spread your greatness through the world.


Everyone has their own way to cope when they’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with themselves. Some of your first-year peers have a few suggestions that you could adopt. Saba likes to write down everything on her mind and think objectively about why she is feeling this way and how she can avoid being so stressed. Rebekah follows a similar approach and takes a step back, putting things into perspective. She thinks, “If I look back on this moment later in life, will this stress have been worth it?” Diana doesn’t even think about whatever is causing stress. She puts a pause on her work or whatever is causing stress and takes a break, engaging in low stress activities like watching “This is Us” or taking a walk.


Still not sure if that would work for you? Well, you could go to the Arts Annex and craft away your worries. They have lots of stress-free activities to partake in. Go to the Duke Coffeehouse to enjoy the chill ambience and savor some free coffee and tea. Go to the Oasis, a quiet spot to meditate and work. There’s one on East Campus in Bell Tower dorm and one on West Campus on the first floor of the Wellness Center. If you’re feeling super overwhelmed and don’t know how best to deal with it, make a quick stop at CAPS on the third floor of the Wellness Center. They will be more than happy to talk to you.

Regardless of how you choose to de-stress, take that time out to take care of yourself. You need that time and space to relax, because you are so worth it. And as you love yourself, make sure to see the love that others have for you as well.