Being a college student can often be overwhelming and stressful. We have to juggle classes, jobs, extracurricular activities, homework, studying, free time, and still allow enough time to get a good night’s sleep. Having so much on our plate sometimes results in us neglecting to take care of ourselves, physically and mentally. However, self-care is not something that should be forgotten. Here are some self-care tips to have you feeling happier, healthier, less stressed, and on your way to success!
1. Curl Up With A Good Book Or Magazine
Reading a book is the easiest form of self-care as it allows you to escape from real life for a little. This vacation from reality is often necessary when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. There are endless titles to choose from, but picking a genre that interests you would probably be best. Whether it is studying (aka cramming) for a difficult test, rehearsing for a lengthy presentation, or just feeling stressed in general, picking up a book that interests you is a great solution to combat any anxiety. Immerse yourself and get lost in the words that you are reading. Enjoy the character’s journey through success and triumph and learn from them. I am currently reading “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey for my abnormal psychology class. Even though I just started reading this book, I highly recommend it. I enjoy reading about each character’s lives and the hardships they go through in order to achieve success. If you are not into reading novels, try reading your favorite magazine! Either way, you will find yourself getting lost in the material and feel the stress slowing start to dissipate.
2. Watch Your Favorite TV Show or Movie
Are you feeling extremely down in the dumps? Do you need something to cheer you up because you are worried about the grade you got on the exam you just took? If so, then Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime are your three amigos. All three media platforms are rising in popularity due to its never-ending variety of TV shows in many genres ranging from comedy, to drama, to western, and so much more. If you are someone who is looking for some recommendations to watch – I highly recommend New Girl on Netflix, The Lion King on Disney Plus, and Hustlers on Amazon Prime. This is the second best self-care habit you need as a stressed college student.
3. Take a Nap
Often, lack of sleep can be the underlying reason for our feelings of extreme stress. As college students, we frequently find ourselves staying up late studying for our exams. Due to our desire to get good grades, we end up depriving our bodies of some much-needed sleep. Do you want to know the truth though? It is simply not worth sacrificing your mental health for a good grade. So yes honey, if you need a power nap to get you through the day, do it! No harm can come from it. This is the third best self-care habit you should remember as a stressed college student.
4. Spend Time With A Pet
There is nothing better than just relaxing in bed with a pet sleeping right beside you. Not only are they the best cuddle buddies, but they also make for some great company! They are great listeners, will never judge you, and are the best support system (besides your friends and family, of course). Whether you are watching TV or just laying down in your bed, nothing is more relaxing than having your pet beside you. I promise you that after you won’t even remember why you were stressed.
5. Talk To Friends and Family
Many health professionals have discussed this, and to reiterate, it is simply not healthy to bottle up your feelings as talking is essential to sustain mental wellness. If you are feeling so stressed out, to the point where you need to talk to someone, you should talk to someone. This could be a close friend, family member, or an adult you trust. Voice your concerns and your feelings. Ask questions and they will give you answers. If they personally don’t have answers, they can help you find some. These people are by your side, have your best interests at heart, and only want to help you. Just like us, they are real human beings and can understand your struggle. They can relate to what you are going through, and give you tips on how to better manage any feelings of stress that are arising.
6. Go On A Shopping Spree!
Okay, I know that this may be an unconventional method to dealing with stress, but often a little retail therapy can take your mind off of the things that are causing you the greatest amounts of unease. Grab some friends (or your mother), drive to the mall, and do some shopping! Not only will it raise your spirits, but you will feel satisfied with yourself once you buy something new. Bonus points if it is on sale, clearance, or a special. I recommend checking out Macy’s “Last Act” section if you are really looking to score a deal.
7. Go Work Out At The Gym
Need a bikini body to hit up the beach this summer? Tired of sitting around in your house all day? Go work out at the gym! Better yet, enjoy the workout fun with a friend or a family member! Go on the treadmill, go on the bike ride machine, do some yoga, play some tennis – unleash the tension that is in your body and clear your mind! You will save yourself some stress by doing this as the energy will be built in your body as a result of working out, thus giving you the motivation that you need to succeed in your college career! This is the seventh-best self-care habit you need as a stressed college student.
8. Listen To Music or Podcasts
Both podcasts and music have been known to calm both the mind and body. Play some soothing tunes or delve into an interesting podcast, it’s really up to you. The best part is that you can utilize this stress diffusing technique anytime. This can be while reading a book, taking a nap, or studying for an upcoming test. If you sing along to the song, bonus points for you as you are now having the twice amount of fun! I recommend using Spotify (if you don’t already) as it has both music and podcast streaming options. Additionally, Spotify has a student discount that can be applied if you attach your school email!
9. Draw or Paint
Everyone has an artistic side to them, it’s just about bringing it out. Drawing and painting will help you explore your creative side as well as calm your mind and body! Additionally, there are many different forms of painting and drawing so it is important to see which type of media you prefer. With that being said, if painting and drawing don’t pique your interest, try something else like pottery or photography! Explore different forms of art while spending time with a friend or family member to add to the fun.
10. Plan Ahead!
I really cannot emphasize this enough. Use a planner or a calendar to jot down important dates for tests, projects, presentations, etc. If you have two or more things going on at the same time, mark those down too! For a busy student like myself, I always find this helpful because then you know what needs to get done and what has already been done over the course of the week. This will teach you time management skills as well as allows you to put your best foot forward that week.
What are some self-care techniques that you need as a stressed college student? Which one of these techniques might you try? Comment down below!
Feature Image Source: https://everydayfeminism.com/2016/10/self-care-in-stress-culture/
Nicole Gibson is a junior at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, where she is pursuing a bachelor of arts in journalism and theatre studies.