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Self-Care in Small Spaces

A mini guide to a self-care night in your own dorm room 


By Pamela Alvarado


Graphic By Alicia Chiang

As midterm season exhausts us into oblivion with exams, stress, and the demands of academic life that plague our minds, late-night study sessions take a toll on our well-being. However, even amidst the chaos of campus life, it’s crucial to prioritize our well-being. Trust me, I know the struggle, and that’s why I’ve put together a mini guide to a budget-friendly self-care night that you can enjoy in the comfort of your dorm room. 


  1. Set the Mood: Let’s start by decluttering your room and creating a serene environment. Put everything away: your notes, books, anything that may haunt your mind with the idea of exams. Normally, I’d advise you to light some candles, but you can’t in a dorm, so an alternative is to buy battery candles from Dollar Tree instead! Afterward, play some soothing music — whatever your heart desires and will give you peace of mind. 

  2. Face Masks: At the risk of sounding like a 2010 DIY Youtuber, raid your fridge for ingredients to whip up homemade face masks. Avocado, honey, yogurt, oatmeal, milk, and sugar are all fantastic options for nourishing the skin. Even better, you can acquire half of these things at the dining hall. Mix and match ingredients to suit your skin type and concerns, and then sit back, relax, and let the masks work their magic. For example, some combinations for oily skin are honey, lemon, and oatmeal face masks. To get rid of acne scars, you can do aloe vera gel, raw honey, and lemon juice. 

  3. Mani-Pedi: Treat your tired hands and feet to a manicure and pedicure. Soak them in warm water to soften the skin, then trim, file, and buff as needed. If you don’t have a bathtub, fill a bin with warm water, add some Epsom salts, and soak your feet. Be careful not to spill anything. 

  4. Meditation and Mindfulness: Take a few moments to practice meditation or mindfulness exercises to quiet the mind and center yourself. Focus on your breath, or try meditation apps for extra guidance. Another option is journaling your thoughts, alleviating anything plaguing your mind. 

  5. Hydrate: Please remember to hydrate yourself every day, not only when practicing self-care. Water does wonders for your body. 


At the end of the day, remember self-care isn’t selfish — it’s a vital aspect of maintaining overall well-being, especially during exam season. So, the next time you find yourself overwhelmed with deadlines and responsibilities, carve out time for a self-care night in your dorm room. Trust me, your mind and body will thank you for it. 

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