Let's be honest, college can be stressful -- like, really stressful. As the new school year approaches, everyone could use a little reminder of how important taking care of ourselves is. It seems so basic, yet oftentimes we put our well-being last on our agenda of things we need to get done. There always seems to be so much to do in so little time. In college, especially with the stresses of classes, social lives, and relationships, it can almost seem impossible to find time for yourself. However, just taking five minutes to do something for your well-being every day can make all the difference. Self-care isn't always taking baths and getting a manicure. Here are eleven ideas to up your self-care routine.
1. Take a break from social media
Mindlessly scrolling through social media can be both time-consuming and bad for our mental health. Seeing people post only the highs of their lives can lead to comparison and self-doubt. Often, I find myself on my phone every spare second I have. By being more present and trying to limit the time spent on our phone, we can make more time for the important things and be more present in our lives.
2. Spend time in nature
Going on a walk to clear your head can be so beneficial. Just feeling the sunlight on your skin can drastically improve your mood. There is nothing better than getting outside after being in the library for hours on end studying for that tough exam coming up, and this self-care idea is so simple and can be done every day!
3. Call a loved one
Sometimes talking to a loved one is all you need to turn your day around. I am always amazed about how much better I feel after hearing my mom's voice on the other end of the phone. No matter how bad my day is going, I can always count on a phone call to make it a little better. Loved ones also are great people to go get advice from and talk about what is on your mind.
4. Cook a healthy meal
Eating healthy can help improve your mood, energy, and memory. You can't go wrong with swapping that third piece of pizza out with an apple. Cooking a healthy meal won't just make your body feel better, but I always have a sense of pride pulling a homemade meal out of the oven. Plus, this is a great excuse to have people over to enjoy your hard work!
Working out releases endorphins, which in turn gives us more energy and makes us feel happy. As hard as it can be to drag yourself to the gym, a quick sweat each day helps relieve stress, keeps us healthy, and makes us feel good. So, put the next Netflix episode on pause and get that workout in, even if it is just a quick walk.
6. Read a book
Getting "lost" in a really good book is therapeutic. With so many different options and genres out there, everyone can find something they enjoy. Reading is not only fun, but it can also be cool to read how someone else views the world.
7. Take a nap
This one is huge. There are not many problems that a good nap can't solve. In college, I found that sometimes the best thing to do for yourself when you feel stressed and tired is to take a 30-minute nap and try to solve the problem later. After being refreshed and less tired and irritable, things are much easier to take on.
8. Practice Yoga
Yoga is one of the best ways to relieve stress while getting that workout in. There have been many studies done that show the positive effects of yoga on people's bodies. It helps improve mobility while increasing muscle strength. Not only is it beneficial to physical health, but also mental. By focusing on breathing and releasing tension, anxiety and stress are lessened.
Meditation is another great way to practice self-care. Meditation is the practice of training your mind to focus and redirect thoughts. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, improve concentration, and increase happiness. When I meditate, I find that it is easier for me to recognize my thoughts and allow myself to just breathe.
10. Dress up
Another form of self-care is to dress up in something that makes you feel confident. While wearing comfy clothes is great and all, sometimes it is necessary to change things up. I find that dressing up is a great way to express myself and feel good about myself.
11. Get a massage
Tight shoulders and sore backs are no fun. One of my favorite forms of self-care is going to get a massage.