Written by Lucy Blair, AmeriCorps Member serving at Celerity Dalton School.

So, it is already November. You are on the brink of Thanksgiving and Winter break, and after working long hours for the past four months, you are feeling more exhausted with every passing day. It is expected that the school year will begin to drag in the winter months, but the year is really starting to weigh. In many cases, AmeriCorps members can forget to take care of themselves, while dedicating their entire lives to school and service events for a service year. It’s important to remember to, “Treat yo’ self!”

Even on a stipend, you can really pamper yourself. Download Groupon and find cheap activities. You can find hour massages for only $29, urban scavenger hunts for $30, and even paintball on the low. You can invest in small things, like adult coloring books, meditation apps, or Cheese of the Month Club. When you first arrive in your city of service, the only people you know are other City Year Corps members. It’s really important to make connections outside the initial circle of friends. Join intramural sport teams, volunteer on your own time, and attend football games at the local university so your entire life isn’t just school and your service.

Maybe the most necessary thing for you to do when you are feeling overwhelmed is to look to your students. Take time to reread your students’ appreciation letters or daily back and forth notes to each other. These things, and these experiences serve as a reminder to who you are doing this service year for, what is at stake, and what’s most important. 

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