College can be stressful. Add in daily life and an ongoing pandemic and boom—mega stress!
Stress can be very overbearing especially when it comes to school work and getting things finished on time. Sometimes it’s even hard to know what to do to cope.
Having a successful semester is the ultimate goal for most college students but sometimes it may feel like it’s impossible at times. I would like to help you understand that it is possible and that you don’t need to be so stressed out all the time. Let me introduce to you: self-care, your soon to be BFF.
Self-care describes a conscious act one takes in order to promote their own physical, mental and emotional health. It is not something that we force ourselves to do, or something we don’t enjoy doing. Now, I’m not saying self-care is the answer to all of your problems but it’s a very good answer. Self-care means giving yourself permission to pause, breathe, and just enjoy life the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed.
As stated in some Urban Dictionary entries and in a the glitter guide article, self-care is “an umbrella term that millennials use to excuse their poor financial decisions,” and “putting absurd amounts of parmesan cheese on your spaghetti.” I’m here to tell you that 100 percent YES!, self-care is those things but it can be so much more than “retail therapy.”
1) Self-care can be as simple as eating your favorite food or meal when you’re feeling down or unhappy. Self-care is even taking a break from schoolwork to watch your favorite show, or do a hobby that you absolutely enjoy. It can also mean staying off social media or shutting off your phone when you feel like you need to tune out for a little while, or are overwhelmed or stressed.
2) Pay attention to your physical health. Self-care is as simple as staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and keeping your body moving. Wake up early and get a head start on the day. Go to bed early, or sleep in on the weekends. Go for a walk or go to the student activities center and hit the gym.
Taking care of yourself, mind, body and soul is self-care in a nutshell.
3) Doing things for your future self is also considered self-care. Things such as cleaning up your space or area, not procrastinating on your homework or that essay that’s due next week, putting money into your savings account, even something as simple as laying your clothes out the night before.
4) Talk to your friends or family when you need emotional support, or if the stress of school is getting to you talk to your professors, or advisor. Talking and expressing your problems out loud is a form of self-care as it helps get through or overcome whatever you are going through with someone by your side.
5) Go into each school week and even each day with a positive mindset and goals that you would like to achieve. Write down or plan out your schedule for the day or week in a planner and check things off as you get things done, this will make you feel very productive, trust me.
6) Take a day to yourself once in a while. Sometimes it’s best to take a lazy day and not beat yourself up about it. It’s okay not to be productive all the time.
7) Write down your thoughts in a journal, or listen to music if you need to take your mind off of schoolwork. Take up a new hobby that you’ve never tried before and try new things because who knows, you may love it and it may bring you joy throughout your semester.
Self-care is doing what you enjoy and not feeling guilty about it. Some people view self-care as a selfish act but it is definitely not. Doing things to boost your overall mood and the way you feel should never be considered selfish.
Self-care will make you more effective and energetic, it produces positive feelings and elevates your overall confidence and self-esteem. So if you’re ever feeling unmotivated, do something you enjoy or recharge and you will find that you feel refreshed and ready for whatever challenge college will throw at you.
By doing some of these things you are setting yourself up for success and also reducing some of the stress that you may eventually face during your semester.
Take care of yourself this semester.