(GIF courtesy of thisisntaseasyasitlooks on Tumblr)
(GIF courtesy of thisisntaseasyasitlooks on Tumblr)

By STEPHANIE COSBY, Staff Columnist

It’s that time again. We’re nearing the point in the semester when the giant final projects and papers are being assigned, when professors start hinting at what will be on your final exams, and when you start wondering how on EARTH you are going to finish all of this class work on top of your 72,486 other work, organization, family and general life responsibilities.

Before you spiral too far down into the depths of panic and despair, remember to channel Tom and Donna from NBC’s Parks and Recreation and TREAT YOSELF.

“I don’t have TIME to treat myself!!!” you say. “Do you SEE how much work I left have to do, I don’t DESERVE a treat right now!!!” you shriek.

On the contrary. This crazy, stressful period is one of the most important times to treat yourself. I’m not talking about a night of bar hopping, a huge shopping spree or a luxury weekend getaway– that can come after you’ve finished everything. What I’m talking about are the little pick-me-ups that help you relax, lift your spirits, clear your mind and allow you to be productive.

Need some caffeine? Ditch the regular old coffee and go for your favorite speciality drink. Maybe it’s a peppermint mocha, an iced cappuccino, a chai latte. Whatever it is, going for something with a little extra flavor that you don’t get to have all of the time is always a nice mood lifter.

Need to socialize? Text, call or meet up with your friend or significant other for 15 minutes to a half hour. If they’re also a college student, chances are they’re feeling just as stressed as you are and will welcome the chance to vent and laugh.

Need sleep? Take a nap. 20-30 minutes of shuteye will clear your head and restore your energy more than all of the coffee and Five Hour Energy combined ever could.

Need a break? Go for a walk around the block, take a hot bath, run to Target for a little retail therapy, watch an episode of your favorite show. Do whatever you feel will refresh you. Be careful with this one though. It might be tempting to spend your whole paycheck at Target or to watch 7 more episodes of your show, but remember this is meant to be a quick breather. Briefly recharge then plunge back in.

The point is, sometimes you just need a breather. You’re working hard, so it’s nice to indulge in a few simple pleasures to pick you up and keep you moving toward to finish line.

So when you start panicking about your ever-increasing to-do list, think of Tom and Donna and remember that when the going gets tough, you must treat yoself.

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