"Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…Including you." ~ Anne Lamott
Junior year was full of many expectations about the wonderful life I would be living as a senior. While my life is wonderful, it certainly has not gotten any easier.
I even earned straight As 一 defying the expectation that it would be the worst semester of my academic career 一 and made the Dean’s List! Still, taking care of my physical and mental health took a backseat.
Midterms have past, and I’ve taken some time to reflect on my accomplishments as of today. One of which is finally, after all these years, practicing self-care.
I want to pass on some knowledge that I’ve gained about the importance of self-care and some tips on how to take better care of yourselves! With that we can get into 5 Ways to Practice Self-Care as a College Student.
1. Let in the Light
It doesn’t matter whether you have one large window or one smaller than a trash can, let in the light.
Natural light boosts your mood, helps you wake up (and stay awake), and makes your space feel more open. When I’m feeling ill, I keep the blinds closed to reduce migraines; however, a majority of the time letting in the light makes me happier.
You can see more clearly, and the strain of computer light is lessened. Natural light can help keep you focused on your work and motivated to reach your daily goals.
2. Bring In Sweet Scents
Another way to practice self-care is by making your environment more welcoming. We spend a lot of time indoors, so changing that space to make us comfortable will do wonders for your mental health.
I prefer to use an essential oil diffuser, to spread sweet tangerine and lemongrass throughout my apartment.
You could also open a window to let in fresh air, or use an air freshener. If you don’t like too many smells (allergies) you could focus on cleaning your space to keep everything fresh-smelling, for example, wiping surfaces to clear away dust.
3. Get Squeaky Clean
Proper, good hygiene is often a game changer for many and most don’t even realize it. Take a shower (or a bubble bath), brush your hair, massage your skin, and/or wash your face.
When we’re stressed we often push our physical health to the side, when we should really prioritize it; especially once you feel better.
Do your laundry, clear away trash, and/or catch up on your usual cleaning routine. This can help you feel productive and set other self-care activities in motion.
4. Breathe in the Fresh Air
The weather has improved substantially. Yes, it keeps snowing, but it’ll be 50 degrees again soon. Take a stroll during the day, or walk slower on your way to and from classes.
My favorite place, The Alumni Garden, is open every day now, a little bit of nature does wonders for your health. Watching hummingbirds fly by, or hopping from stone to stone can help you feel more engaged with your body.
This is most beneficial for people who struggle to feel grounded in the present moment.
5. Engage in a Relaxing Hobby
Once a day where you can afford to take it easy, sit down in a comfortable spot and write. Write about your hopes and dreams, your plans for the week, or even your monthly budget.
Writing can help you remain present instead of worrying about everything else you have to worry about.
I enjoy writing and find that when I make time to write I feel much more relaxed and prepared to complete other tasks.
If writing isn’t your style, you can always sing your favorite songs, crochet, or anything else that allows you to effortlessly focus on one moment.
Fun fact, on Tuesday, March 23 we have our second “academic break day” of the term. This could be the day you start your new self-care journey!
I’m looking forward to some much-needed breaks from studying, how about you? I plan to finally start journaling about the flowers in the Alumni Garden or catch up some anime. Whatever you decide to do, I hope it helps you relax and recharge!
Feel free to let me know your favorite self-care activities in the comments below!