It’s Midterm Season, What Have You Done For Self-Care?
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Student Life

It’s Midterm Season, What Have You Done For Self-Care?

Sometimes college students need a break. It’s probably time for you to take one.

It’s Midterm Season, What Have You Done For Self-Care?
David Lezcano / Unsplash

This is a response to “5 Ways To Practice Self Care On Temple University’s Campus…For Free

At this point in the semester, you may feel like you’re running on fumes. The bliss of winter break has worn off after a month and a half of classes, organization meetings, and college life in general and you begin to think “Huh…when’s the last time I took a nap?” You’re definitely not alone in this experience and although it’s been used as a buzzword for a while now, doing things to care for your mental and physical well-being can help. It’s important to note that self-care looks different for everyone depending on their needs and preferences, such as whether they’re an introvert whose self-care is alone time or an extrovert whose self-care is having a game night with friends. Regardless, doing things intentionally and for yourself can help you overcome these mid-semester blues and create habits that benefit you every day.

Before we get into examples, let’s break down this buzzword into why self-care is important. Some of the benefits are obvious, like “Duh, of course, a nap will help me rest before an exam.” But self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy according to the National Institute of Mental Health. By making time and putting effort into self-care, even for a small amount of time every day, we become the best versions of ourselves, as every part of ourselves is healthy and ready for the obstacles we face as students.

Take a moment and think…what have you done for self-care recently? How did that action make you feel and how did it benefit your mental and physical health, even if it was something small? For example, I often encourage my friends and coworkers to get themselves a “little treat.” Most of the time for me this treat, or small act of self-care, means getting an iced chai (with soy milk, of course) and this question of “How did you treat yourself today?” is also a way to ask “What did you do for self-care today? If you didn’t do anything, what could you do to care for yourself?” If you can’t think of anything in particular, don’t fear. Here are some examples to help you get started:

  • Practice gratitude: Remind yourself of the things that you’re grateful for and be specific by writing them down or replaying them in your mind.
  • Stay connected: Reach out to friends and family members who can provide emotional support and practical advice.
  • Use resources on campus: Communicate any concerns you may be having with the Student Counseling Service. Set up an appointment in mental health or academic counseling to help with your stress management as you’ll most likely be addressing the things that cause you stress.
  • Try a relaxing activity: Explore relaxation or wellness activities such as meditation or breathing exercises. Schedule these activities into your schedule
  • Get regular exercise: Small amounts of exercise add up and can help you boost your mood. It doesn’t have to be a crazy hard workout, a thirty-minute walk will work just fine.
  • Stick to a sleep schedule: It’s important to get enough sleep as this can impact your mental and physical well-being.

Some other quick examples? Drink water. Have a cup of tea. Sit in the sunlight. Take a shower or bath. TAKE A BREAK! Play video games. Listen to music. Read a book. Listen to a podcast. Connect with nature. As I’ve talked about in a past article, making time in my busy schedule to focus on my hobbies, such as reading and learning a different language, has become a great way for me to take a break and take care of myself. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated either, watching documentaries has somehow become one of my self-care activities too, as it allows me to do something I enjoy, learning, while taking time to destress from assignments or class.

I encourage you to reflect on what you think you can do for self-care. Although it does take time and trial and error to figure out what works best for you, it’s definitely worth it! Not only can these activities help you feel more relaxed at the moment, but they can help your health and ability to handle stress in the long run.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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