College can be tough...Here are some tips to continue caring for you.
How do you define “self-care?” Some would argue it's a skincare routine, accompanied by a good diet and steady workout routine. Others would say it’s a glass of wine and a face mask on a Friday night. Whatever the case may be, self-care is a word that we constantly hear, but never truly listen to. Especially as a college student during “back to school” season, it can be near impossible to stop and take care of our bodies the way we should. With that being said, here are some tips to continue focusing on yourself, even through the chaos.
Making a Routine
No one ever said being a college student was easy. What makes it even harder, though, is managing your time. Balancing a social life with work, school, and your mental health can feel overwhelming and scary. However, building a schedule and following that routine is a necessity that many people overlook. Setting an alarm to make time for a morning self-care routine can be the difference between an anxious, or productive workday. Setting boundaries with how much time you spend on a certain task is also vital to avoiding burnout. Make a routine full of healthy habits and stick to it!
Having a healthy diet is crucial to maintaining energy and a positive attitude. However, this becomes a lot harder when your lunch break is only an hour, you missed an alarm in the morning or you ran out of groceries to make yourself dinner. In steps meal prepping. We know that the thought of meal prepping may sound intimidating. Going grocery shopping on a Sunday just to come home and make 5+ meals for the week isn’t the most appealing idea to most people. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fall for the dining hall's “healthy options” once or twice simply because of the convenience. However, taking the time to shop for nutritious foods you actually enjoy, and having the regimen of coming home to cook is a self-care task in itself. Plus, there’s no better feeling than waking up knowing your breakfast is made and your lunch is packed.
The most underrated form of self care is so simple, yet so hard to come by as a college student: time alone. As students, it’s easy to spend all of your free time with friends or doing homework, but the downside of that is never getting the time to sit alone with your thoughts and really process what your body may need. Setting aside one hour a day for a walk through campus or sitting outside without any distractions (aka your phone) can make the biggest difference in your mental and physical health.
Be kind to yourself!
It’s easy to let the stress of being in a college environment get the better of you. However, when we speak negatively to ourselves, we’re directly invalidating all the hard work we actually put in and only emphasize our “failures.” In this way, we have to change the narrative. Instead of saying “I’m so mad I didn’t get an A on that assignment” try, “At least now I know what I should study for next time” or, “I’m happy that part of my workload is over because I have more to look forward to.” There’s a quote I chose to live by a while ago and it goes, “Win or learn, never lose.” Changing our perspective on ourselves can be the difference between a fulfilling or stressful one.