Fun that won’t break the bank
Jessica Comstock and her father spend some quality outdoor time at Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park.
You all know about the importance of self-care and preventing burnout. New research proves you can’t deny the importance of taking care of yourself. But how can you afford to take the time away from classes and work, and where can you find the funds? Well, I—representing your friends with the APhA New Practitioner Network—am here to show you how stepping away from the stress and pressures of life does not have to cost a fortune and the benefits are endless. I have outlined a few of the activities I use to relax. Fun does not have to come with a big price tag, but it may take some creativity.
I am a huge board game fan, so I reserve the first Thursday of the month for game night. In every city I have lived in, I have had a group of four to six friends who rotate game night locations. To keep costs low, we hold a potluck dinner or order subs from a local restaurant. If we feel like getting “fancy,” we will hold the event at a brewery or local restaurant.
Hitting the road with a group of friends has always been one of my favorite activities. We grab our sleeping bags and head to the beach to watch the sunset, and then start a bonfire and play all night. Start by identifying a local landmark or historical site and enjoy the journey as it unfolds. Living in the moment and soaking up the fun is always the priority.
Time alone can also be a source of self-care. Some nights I like to stay in, light a fire, pick up one of my favorite books, and read while I enjoy a ridiculously large hot chocolate or hot tea. A quick in-house spa treatment works well, too!
The great outdoors
It is no secret to those who know me that being outside is by far my favorite way to spend time. Backpacking has been my go-to lately. While it is expensive to build the collection of gear, it is fairly inexpensive once you have it all. If spending a few nights out on the trail doesn’t sound exciting, try going for a hike and enjoying the views. There is nothing like the sounds of nature to bring calm and instill a sense of purpose into your soul.
If the big overseas adventure or expensive resort getaway is still what you crave, it isn’t out of the question. You will have to budget for the trip and spend wisely. Using hostels is a great way to save money you can use to explore your destination further. When I stay in the same spot for the duration of a trip, I will get a place with a small kitchen so I can buy groceries to make breakfast and pack a lunch. While I miss out on some local eats, I save a lot of money.
I hope you will try some of my favorite self-care treatments. Classes and work are very demanding, and the best way to stay fresh and perform well is to make sure you take time to relax and recharge.
Jessica Comstock, PharmD, BCNP, is a Pharmacy Manager for PharmaLogic Holdings in Roanoke, VA, and the 2019–20 Vice-Chair of the APhA New Practitioner Network.