By Briana Ryan
College life, while exciting and unique, can also bring about a number of unique challenges. This is especially true when living in dorms where suddenly, every single part of your space and life is shared with countless other people. The feeling of never being alone or having privacy can be stressful on a good day, and when you throw menstruation and all the associated symptoms on top of it it can feel downright overwhelming.
These five practices can help you reclaim your sense of space:
- Communicate honestly with your roommates: You all are going to want some alone time here and there, so keeping an open line of honest communication is essential. If you are all aware of what each of you needs when you can work together to give each other space when necessary.
- Find activities that “transport you:” Sometimes it’s just not possible to find your own physical space, but relaxing into your favorite soundtrack, movie, TV show, or book can offer a temporary escape.
- Seek out your favorite spaces: Find places outside your house or dorm that bring you peace and seek them out when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
- Connect with the people you miss most and those who are currently around you: It’s ok to not feel like talking to people sometimes, but when the mood strikes or when you’re feeling especially disconnected, a phone call or coffee date with someone you love can be amazingly re-energizing.
- Indulge in your favorite comforts: You may have to adapt things some, but indulging in your all-time favorite foods, drinks, or other comforts like your favorite clothes or blanket can help you make a space your own.
Even with all the effort in the world, there will still be moments that you feel like you’re existing in a space that isn’t your own–especially when those PMS mood swings creep in. But what’s important to remember is that feeling is temporary and at the end of the day, you have the power to make any space your own simply by existing authentically within it.