For The Student Who Needs Self-Care Tips For This School Year

For The Student Who Needs Self-Care Tips For This School Year

With each semester consistently rearing its head, our daily stressors can increase and we may lose sight of our mental stability.

Our mental health and stability are one of the most important priorities we can attend to in our daily lives. How we react to situations, what our thought process is, how we handle stressful situations and our daily stressors... they all rely on our mental health!

It is very important for us to check in on ourselves, mentally, to ensure that we are healthy and living in a state of mental clarity. How do we do so? Sometimes simply asking yourself how you're feeling today will grant the opportunity for you to resolve any internal issues you may have. If you notice that you are having persistent feelings of sadness, lack of motivation, or helplessness, then it is best to speak with someone to make sure there are no mental abnormalities.

Imagine that you have two or three papers due and two exams in ONE week on top of having a full-time job and extracurricular activities.

The stress levels can get high for you, but how you manage your stress and how you operate your time, will be the foundation of your mental stability in school. One of the many branches of caring for your mental stability and managing your stress is having a self-care routine!

Some people are probably wondering what a self-care routine is, what it can entail, and how we can incorporate these qualities into our daily lives!

A self-care routine, in a mental health sense, is a series of actions that an individual takes in order to alleviate any elevated stress or anxiety they may have. Honestly, a self-care routine, all in all, is what YOU make it and there is no limit to the actions or events you want to partake in, to bring yourself some inner peace.

The tips I will be giving you today will be based on a week self-journey that you can partake in to solidify your self-care routine or at least some aspects that you would love to incorporate into your tailor-made self-care routine.

1. Sunday: Cleansing/Detoxing

Sunday is usually the day of rest for most people, so it's only right that we rest our minds today! Unplug from all social media, start doing some clean eating, while drinking nothing but water and tea, and remove any negative energy from your life! Unplugging from social media will give your mind a rest from any and all ignorance and toxic content that you may be viewing. Drinking more water and eating healthier foods increases the blood flow and oxygen to your brain, which is perfect for mental clarity when it comes to studying for a test or writing papers. Finally, removing any negative energy, be it a person, old habit, object, or vice, removing negative energy is an important part in elevating your mental stability.

2. Monday: Communication

Humans thrive off of human interaction. So on this Monday, communication is definitely key!!! Talking with your friends, a loved one, or even a mental health professional on different ways you can incorporate various self-care techniques into your life can be very beneficial. Having more than one opinion is sometimes best when it comes to planning out your ME time.

3. Tuesday: Alone Time/Journaling:

Take advantage of your alone time and reflect on different aspects of your life, watch Netflix, write a couple raps, FaceTime a friend you haven't talked to in a while because things have gotten busy. Your alone time is YOUR time and what you do with it, is solely up to you! Just as long as you are enjoying what you're doing, your alone time will be bliss. Journaling your inner thoughts and letting everything out on paper, when you may not feel so confident confiding in someone else, is a great way to release any mental tension or negative energy you may have experienced during your day today. Journaling can also be used to reflect the change you see and the change you WANT to see happen in life, as you reflect on the different aspects of your life.

4. Wednesday: Read/ Discover New Art

Reading and discovering new art forms is not only stimulating for the brain, but it opens your mind to new knowledge and interests. If you're not sure what books to pick up, a few recommendations are "You Are A Badass. How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life" by Jen Sincero, I Love My Love by Reyna Biddy, The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Şafak, and Emotional Freedom by Judith Orloff, M.D.

5. Thursday: Try A New Skill

Try something that you have never done before! Be it Yoga, Meditation, or anything you desire to try that you may not have done before, you will be more receptive to try new things!

6. Friday: Reflection

Reflect on everything you have learned, enjoyed, and wanted to incorporate from your week of discovery! Journal your reflection and think about the change you, now, see in yourself, mentally.

7. Saturday: Plan & Action

Take your reflection and turn it into ACTION!!! Take each day and plan a way to incorporate these actions and self-care tips into your daily life routine. Sooner or later, you will begin to see a mental change in yourself, for the better!

ALL IN ALL LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, WHEN IT COMES TO YOU, YOUR MENTAL HEALTH, AND YOUR FREE TIME...

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Don't Be Afraid To Say No If It Means Putting Your Happiness First

Responsibilities can crush you, put yourself first.

By the time this publishes, the first week of classes will be over. We'll have made it through the bliss of syllabus week and be moving on with the rest of the semester. But as I go through syllabus week and work on getting back into the swing of things, I've decided that I want to put myself first this year. Writing that sounds ridiculous. I should never have to choose to put myself first, it should always be that way. But the fact is that everything else gets in the way sometimes.

Whether it be school and grades or clubs and work or everyone else in your life, it's hard to know when you should really be saying no. I knew I had put myself in a bad position last semester. I took on too much and though I made it out okay, it's not an experience that I want to have again. So, I've been trying to think of ways to reevaluate what I do and why I do it.

First, I have to remember that above all else, anything I do I should be passionate about. If I'm not happy doing something, I'm putting myself in the backseat for the needs of others and I'm not doing that anymore. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. We're not all so lucky to be working our dream jobs. But that doesn't mean you can't work somewhere that you like. I've worked really horrible jobs and really great jobs and now I know what I deserve when I walk into work.

I also try to think about what an activity is doing for me. Again we all have to do things we don't want to do but if it helps us achieve our goals, it's usually worth it anyway. But on the other hand, just because you like doing something doesn't mean you should. Bend out of your comfort zone a little and look for the things that challenge you. It's going to do more for you than sticking to something you're already good at.

At the end of the day, what's really most important is knowing when you're happy and when you're not. If you're involved in an activity that makes you miserable and you're only doing it because you think you have to, for the love of God please just quit. You're not helping anyone, especially not yourself and no matter what, there's never anything that you need to do.

It is your life. Please, please only do what makes you happy and what makes you a better person. Turn some things down. Say no to the things you don't want to do and pursue the things you do. Choose yourself. There's absolutely nothing wrong with needing time for yourself too. You're not perfect, you're you and that's much better anyway.

Cover Image Credit: Bryan Minear

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Who Do You Live For?

It's easy to say "I'd die for you," but harder to say "I'd live for you."

In Twenty One Pilots’ “Ride,” there’s some lyrics that stand out: “I’d die for you, that’s easy to say/...‘I’d live for you’ and that’s hard to do.” Meaning, it’s easy to say you’d die for someone, but it’s significantly harder to say you’d live for someone.

I’ve struggled with that my whole life. For many years, I didn’t have anyone to turn to. I struggled (and still do) with anxiety and depression, and there were days where I wondered who I’m doing this for, why I do certain things, who I’m living for.

For many years, I felt completely alone. I had no friends. My parents and I didn't have a good enough relationship where I could simply come talk with them. I was even scared to confide in my trusted grandmother, because scared younger me didn’t know if she'd tell my parents or not. I internalized way too much, and it destroyed me inside. All that internalizing made me feel isolated, like I wasn't good enough at anything, and I began to question my existence and who I was living for.

It took time. It took switching schools, finally making friends, and gaining new opportunities to explore my identity and what I enjoyed doing. It took venturing into community theater and meeting my boyfriend of a little over two years now. It took living on my own in my first two years of college, gaining independence and strengthening my relationship with my parents. It took making new friends and losing some along the way.

It took four years out of my 20-year lifespan to realize that I did, in fact, have people to live for.

I have my parents, with whom I’ve resolved past struggles and grown closer to. I have my sisters, who still occasionally drive me crazy--but we're not fighting endlessly anymore. I have my grandparents, particularly my amazing grandmother who had always seen and supported the version of me that was hidden away until switching schools allowed her to emerge.

I have my incredible boyfriend, who has become one of my biggest reasons to get through every week and is the reason I can finally envision a future. I have my best friend, who calls it like it is, gives me tough love when I need it, and is an all-around awesome person.

To anyone else who thinks they’re alone or don’t have anyone to live for, look again. You have family, friends, who love you wholeheartedly, who would miss you beyond words if you weren’t there anymore.

To quote “Dear Evan Hansen,” “You are not alone.” You’re never alone, especially in your feelings. There are so many other people who feel exactly like you do. Find them. Remind each other that you’re not alone and there are others out there who understand.

If you ever feel this way, please check out "Dear Evan Hansen." The music alone will help. I also recommend making a playlist filled with favorite songs, pick-me-up tracks, or songs that, like "Dear Evan Hansen," describe what you're feeling or going through on the nose. I have one for myself, and it has a mix of all three. It's gotten me through countless low points purely through the healing power of music. A playlist like this can help you, too.

And remember, you always have someone to live for: yourself. You are always enough of a reason to keep going. Never forget that.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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