11 Ways To Treat Yourself After A Difficult Week

Well, hello again—did you miss me? Okay, it hasn’t been that long but this is definitely the longest I’ve ever gone without blogging and holy hell, it sucks. It’s at that point in the semester where everyone is up to their perfectly curled eyelashes in homework, studying, projects for class, work obligations, and all the other crap we’re so desperately trying to ignore right now. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it up to here with not having enough time to myself to catch up on a Netflix show, or mindlessly scroll through social media.

I know, I know, things have been wild for you, too. You slept through all of your early morning classes this week; you forgot to turn in a major homework assignment; your group project buddies are driving you insane. Essentially, shit is happening and you don’t have time for that. And, that’s why I decided to write this blog post. While it’s important to stay committed to completing assignments and working toward your degree and professional goals, it’s also extremely important to take care of yourself and make sure you’re happy. You may have read my post on Habits That Will Make You Happier In College (and if you haven’t, go check it out!!) and I really enjoyed writing that post, and it looks like y’all really loved reading it. So I’m kind of zooming in on the small things you can do weekly when you really need a pick-me-up after a hectic week of very little sleep and wearing the same outfit everyday to save what little time you have in the morning.

1. Go on a date with your close friends. 

Friend dates are the perfect way to catch up with anyone you haven’t been able to chill with too much during the semester, and it’s way nicer than the two-second conversation you have when passing each other in the library. Pick a favorite spot and do brunch on a weekend, or get dressed up and go out to dinner with your girls.

Related: How To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

2. Go on a date with yourself. 

If you feel like you need some time to be alone, take yourself on a date! It’s the perfect way to explore something you’re interested in and go places on your own terms—no having to wait for your friends to finish styling their hair, and no having to go where someone else wants to go. Check out museums, galleries, and any tours you might be interested in attending.

3. Bake cookies, cupcakes, or other goodies. 

I had to put this one on my list because this is something I plan to do this weekend! I’m a huge baking fanatic and haven’t made a cupcake in so long, so I’m really excited to do this. Baking can be relaxing and I love seeing the look on other peoples’ faces when I bring them something homemade, so if you’re someone who usually enjoys baking goodies, use your chill time to whip up a batch of something yummy.

4. Hop back on a hobby you used to have a lot of time for. 

I know people don’t usually have time for major hobbies when they’re super stressed with work, but it doesn’t hurt to spend a day doing something you used to love. I could crochet and make bracelets for hours on end before coming to college, so those are two hobbies I would consider picking back up for a day when I feel like getting away from obligations.

5. Sleep in. 

I think this might be a favorite on this list, but you can never go wrong with giving yourself some extra hours of relaxation. And, relaxation doesn’t even need to be getting pampered and giving yourself a mani pedi. Sleeping in will feel so insanely good after weeks and weeks of having to wake up (or failing to wake up) at the ass crack of dawn.

Related: How To Get 8+ Hours Of Sleep In College

6. Try something you’ve always wanted to try. 

It can be something crazy like ziplining or something lowkey like eating at a new restaurant. Either way, this is the perfect time to whip out your bucket list and start trying to cross off a few things (see what’s on the ultimate winter bucket list!).

7. Binge watch a new show on Netflix. 

Next to sleeping, binge watching shows on Netflix may be the second best thing on here. There’s something so satisfying about laying in bed under the warm covers with your laptop on your, well, lap and just getting lost in the next episode of Grey’s Anatomy, or whatever you watch.

8. Host a girls’ night. 

What’s more fun than gathering your closest girls and bonding over some wine grape juice and cheese?? This is the perfect way for a couple of friends to take the night off and catch up with everything that’s happening in each others’ lives. There are so many fun things you can do together—make cocktails, watch a movie, hell, you could even make baking cookies a girls’ night activity.

9. Paint your nails and do a face mask while sipping Shirley temples. 

I guess this is also a cute girls’ night idea, but it can also work for a night of solo fun, especially if you’re as obsessed with Shirley temples as I am. It’s a nice way to have a few hours of peace to yourself and you’re skin will be *glowing* after that face mask!

Related: How To Relax And Enjoy Alone Time In College

10. Do something that inspires you. 

This is a great way to keep your motivation up, too. Use your chill time to catch up on the podcasts you’ve been meaning to listen to for the last few weeks, or start learning the new language you’ve always wanted to learn. Set yourself up to start doing it and you’ll feel so good afterward that you’ll want to continue.

11. Take a day off from doing work. 

This is probably one of the BEST ways to treat yourself. Even if you don’t listen to any of these ideas, simply doing anything but school work is a great way to relax. In fact, I find that sometimes doing nothing makes me feel even better (this coming from a girl who likes to always be doing something!).

What are your favorite ways to treat yourself? 

12 Ways To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

During the winter months, everyone around me sees a winter wonderland with snow angels, igloos, and hot chocolate. I see a death trap with black ice, wet socks, and poofy jackets that make me look like a marshmallow. I’d gladly take the hot summer any day. When you go to a college in a region that experiences all four seasons, you don’t actually get to enjoy the summer on campus with friends. In New York, it starts getting chilly around October, and even when spring officially begins in March, we often still have cold weather through May! But I think we’re finally starting to see more sunlight and more gorgeous weather, which hopefully isn’t just a fluke. That said, it’s the perfect time for hanging out with friends and making memories. Whether you’re chilling with friends from your hometown who you haven’t seen all year, or you’re meeting up with your new college pals you saw just a few weeks ago (though, it feels like a year), here are some ways you and your friends can have some fun this summer.

1. Attend a free outdoor festival.

Be on the lookout for food and art festivals in your neighborhood. I go to school on Long Island and there’s always some sort of festival happening around the spring and summer — the Oyster Festival, Lobster Festival, music festivals. You can get into these festivals for little to no money, and you can spend as long as you want and try everything you see. A quick search on Google for fun festivals in the area should give you some ideas.

2. Go to the beach.

This can be a meticulously planned day-long trip or a spur of the moment stop for an hour or so. You can never go wrong with taking photos while your hair blows in the breeze, or building sand castles and collecting pretty rocks. If you decide to go for the entire day, make sure you come prepared with sunscreen, water to keep you hydrated, and cute sunglasses so you look as sharp as the sun.

12 Ways To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

3. Go for an ice cream run.

Well, unless you or one of your friends is lactose intolerant. In that case, go for a dairy-free ice cream run. One time, my friends and I stopped by this ice cream shop in town that was known for having the best ice cream in the area and it was SO good! Turn it into a journey for finding the best place for soft serve. You can also never go wrong with hitting up a childhood favorite for a vanilla cone with sprinkles.

12 Ways To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

4. Make ice cream together.

On the other hand, if you’re really feeling your inner culinary genius, try making your own ice cream at home. I’ve done it when I got bored of eating whatever’s from the store, because it’s so easy to really customize it and turn it into something of your own. If you’re going for a plain vanilla ice cream, simply whip up some heavy whipping cream until you see peaks (but not butter!) and mix in condensed milk. Freeze and you’re ready to eat! From there you can add whatever toppings and things you want, and you can turn this activity into an ice cream party for you and your friends.

5. Have a picnic in the park. 

It has been my dream to have a picnic photoshoot. You can invite as many friends as you’d like, and you don’t have to worry about there not being enough space because you’re outdoors and there’s certainly room for everyone. It can be a potluck-type of picnic where everyone brings some food or drink item to share so one person doesn’t have to do all the work.

6. Go for a run and turn it into a routine.

This is perfect for hanging out with friends from your hometown. You can plan a daily or weekly run through the neighborhood with them to make up for not being able to see each other all year. This is a great way to reach any health and fitness goals with a buddy. And if running isn’t your cup of tea, you can always walk or get creative and do outdoor yoga.

Related: How To Make Time For Going To The Gym In College

7. Have an outdoor photoshoot. 

I used to hate taking pictures of myself in high school, but when I started blogging I began taking photos more and, well, sometimes I needed to be in them. Now I love, love, LOVE having photoshoots with friends and I always have so many ideas for them. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to fun photoshoots I want to do, and you don’t even need a fancy DSLR — an iPhone would be great for the job. You never know when you’ll need a really good photo of yourself!

12 Ways To Enjoy The Summer With Friends

8. Attend an outdoor concert. 

Check to see if there are any free concerts happening in your area this summer. I know in New York City, there are free concerts happening throughout the summer for various artists. This is a fun way to get to see a singer you really like without having to pay hundreds of dollars for a ticket. And afterwards, you and your friends can hang out ad grab a bite to eat at a local shop. Be sure to check out my concert checklist for tips on what to bring with you!

9. Have a pool party in your backyard. 

I recently got a lip-shaped pool float from my internship and it’s so cool and so pretty and I’m dying to get it in the water. I don’t know how to swim, so I guess it works for me. But if you’re just using an inflatable pool in your backyard, you don’t really need to know how to swim, and you also don’t have to drive to a public pool. Blow one up that’s big enough for you and your friends, fill it with water, grab some sodas or even some fancy *adult* beverages and chill.

10. Attend a conference together. 

I know conferences sound boring, but there are actually some really cool ones for millennials that you can look into. They’re great ways to hang out with your besties, meet new people, and forward your career while learning new things. Her Conference is definitely my favorite. I went last year and had a blast, so I’m obviously super excited for this year’s. Pick a conference together, but also remember that you may need to book tickets in advanced.

By the way, if you’re curious about my Her Conference experience, be sure to read my post on the 19 things I learned from it.

11. Go on a tour of your city. 

While I visit New York City more often than I visit (the dentist? my neighborhood library? office hours?) I still have never gone on an actual tour of the place. I’ve always thought those red double decker tour buses looked cool, but I’ve never hopped on one for sightseeing. This is a cool idea for you and your friends, especially if you don’t always go to your nearest metro city. You might even discover a few new favorites.

Related: The Awkward Traveler’s Guide To Manhattan Part One: Basics + Battery Park

12. Hit the highway for a road trip. 

A road trip can be anywhere from Brooklyn to Montauk, or from Vermont to California. It’s all up to you and how long you’re willing to tolerate all your friends in one cramped car. Just kidding. But a road trip would be the perfect way to catch up with hometown friends or make new memories with college buddies. All you need is a car, a friend who can drive, and the wind in your hair.

What are your ideas for hanging out with friends this summer? 

Follow me on Pinterest for more great tips and ideas related to college and lifestyle!