We all struggle with finding time to balance school, work, church, activities, and time for ourselves. But it is extremely important to also schedule some time out of your day to care for yourself. Here are some tips and reminders on what to do if you are having a stressful week and need to reset your mind.
1. Put Yourself First
The key to self-care is putting your health first, above any other priority. The hardest part is rewiring your brain to allow yourself to change up your schedule to squeeze time in for yourself. We fill up our time with homework, work, and other obligations, and because these things are also important to us, we don’t force ourselves to set time aside to do things that are simply for our satisfaction.
2. Keep Positive People in Your Life
Friends are some of the most important people in your life. If a friend mainly contributes positivity to your life, then that relationship is a solid bond. You should keep this person in your life. You deserve to have people in your life who bring you up, not pull you down.
3. Take Alone Time
Start small, give yourself 15 minutes a day to do something that is just for you. Treat yourself to a soothing face mask, listen to calming music in a dark room, meditate. You will find days where you can give yourself two hours and days when you don’t get a chance to stop and breathe, but every day is a new opportunity.
Dancing to your favorite tunes serves as a huge stress reliever. Turn up your speakers in your room, play some Shakira and have a quick dance party for a study break with friends. Remember to laugh, smile and not take life too seriously. Your school work shouldn’t take priority over your mental health.
5. Do Something Creative
Start a bullet journal, buy a coloring book, paint a picture, doodle in your notebook. Doing something creative releases stress and those bottled up feelings we can't seem to resolve. It gives you time to reflect and mentally work out a problem in your life, which can make you happier and less anxious.
Believe me when I say I know how hard it is to find the motivation to leave your room and go to the gym. However, exercise is incredibly good for you and will help you relieve a lot of stress.
It clears your mind and keeps you on your feet so you can think better throughout the rest of your day. Simply going to the gym and walking on the treadmill for 20-30 minutes will make you feel better compared to sitting in your room on your third hour of watching Netflix and procrastinating your homework.
7. Drink More Water
Did you know that even slight dehydration could negatively impact your mood? Water improves your skin, keeps you energized and makes you more alert. Drinking more water can only benefit you and make your day easier. Keep in mind that coffee doesn’t count, so step away from the Starbucks.
Like walking, singing is a form of exercise that releases endorphins (which make you happy). This also increases the oxygen in your blood, which can improve your mood. Give your brain a break from all of your stress.
You’re likely breathing more deeply if you’re singing, and that’s a technique that can help reduce your anxiety. And if your mini concert takes place in the shower, you get your daily hygiene routine in too, which can also boost your mood.
Sleep lets our bodies heal themselves, and when you don’t get enough, it affects every aspect of your life. Not sleeping enough can contribute to symptoms of depression, age your skin and make you gain weight. College students have enough to worry about and don't really want to add dealing with aging, and weight gain.
10. Don't Be Afraid to Say Yes or No
If you tend to decline fun-sounding invitations because of your heavy, stressful workload, remember the value of taking a break, even when you do have a hectic schedule. If, on the other hand, you tend to say yes to everything that comes your way, remember that it’s okay to prioritize your own needs by saying no.
Always do exactly what you want to do. No friend, significant other or enemy should make you do anything you don’t want to do.
11. Change Your Scenery
A simple change to your studying space or work location can boost motivation and moral significantly! If you always tend to go to study at the library, go find a classroom or new study space to renew your focus. Having different surroundings can keep you on task and keep you motivated.
12. Remind Yourself That You are More Than Your Academics
There are many people at college who base their daily routine around their academic schedule and workload.
If you feel similarly, ask yourself: What else are you good at? What else do you enjoy doing? Make a list of all the things you do and enjoy that aren’t directly related to your academic life. Your academics are important, but there are other things in your life that are important, too.
Remember that you are valuable because you are a person. Your value isn’t attached to what you’re good at, but to the fact that you’re a human being.