In this competitive, fast-paced, consumer-driven, technological world we are all subjected to be a part of on a daily basis, it is important to take time away from the daily grind of work, chores, and arrangements to take care of ourselves. Self care means a lot of different things to different people. For one person self care may mean meditating for 20 minutes, for someone else it may mean going on long walks. The most important thing about self care is that it makes YOU feel rejuvenated, loved, and happy. We often forget how important it truly is to take this time, as it is not seen as “productive” in our modern world. If anything, it is labeled as selfish. As incredibly busy college students, self care tips are even more important to prevent burnout. The pressure students endure can cause stress levels to soar to unhealthy levels. When this occurs, students can begin feeling sick more than usual, which makes them fall behind on coursework causing feelings of defeat and hopelessness.This snowball effect of stress can be prevented with 15 easy self care tips I learned over the course of my freshman year.
Take time to exercise
I know you are busy, and the Emerson gym is almost a mile walk away but trust me you will feel so much better. If the gym isn’t your style you can run in the Boston Common or in the Public Garden (wouldn’t recommend this in the winter but to each their own). With the endorphins you will gain from a killer workout you will acquire more energy to finish writing that paper that has been hanging over your head or finally do your laundry. Not to mention the superficial benefits of working out— hello booty! This is by far one of the most important self care tips.
Write in a journal
I know not everyone at Emerson is a journalism major but the practice of semi-regularly writing in a journal can be so beneficial to overcoming and understanding problems. Being away at college can be really tough. At times it can feel very lonely and in these moments I turned to my journal to express what was weighing on me and make sense of it, then I let it go. It is funny how sometimes writing down an issue can put it in perspective for you. Try it out! Just don’t put too much pressure on yourself to write all the time, or else you will burnout from that as well.
I can’t emphasize the importance of staying hydrated enough. Not only does adequate hydration work wonders for your skin but it also helps your muscles and joints work better, helps prevent kidney stones, promotes cardiovascular health and prevents nasty dry mouth etc. It also makes you feel refreshed and happy and that in and of itself is worth it! Go purchase a reusable water bottle and drink up!
Find new music
It is universally known that music is a stress reliever, but when I am feeling extra down I like to set aside some time to explore Spotify to find some new music to jam out to then share with my friends. Start searching!
Take a walk
I have lived in a lot of beautiful places throughout my life but no walk compares to a walk through the Public Garden and all the way to the Charles River Esplanade, no matter what time of the year it is. We have this beautiful scenery literally right outside our residence halls! Take advantage of it!
Take a night off with your friends
You have just spent all week working hard in class, with orgs or at your job. Trust me, you can take a Saturday night off and go out with your friends. Whatever that may mean. My favorite thing to do is get ready with my girlfriends, blast music, take cute pictures and let the night lead us where it will. Your work can wait till Sunday.
Listen to a podcast
One of the things that got me through my freshman year of college was listening to podcasts. I’d listen to them before bed, while I got ready or when I would eat alone in the Dining Hall. There are SO many FREE podcasts out there of all genres. One of my favorites is “The Daily” by the New York Times, but when it comes to getting up in my feels or trying to stay motivated I listen to “Love Letters” by the Boston Globe or “Unladylike.” So put in your earbuds and let yourself escape for a little while.
People seriously underestimate the power of stretching. While studying or writing a paper in the library for long periods of time it’s normal for our bodies to get stiff and cramp up. I try to give myself a stretch break every 1-1.5 hours to refresh my brain and body. You’ll feel SO much better. Trust me.
Dance! Whenever you can!
You don’t have to be a good dancer to have fun. Sometimes when I was feeling down during my freshman year I would turn on some of my favorite jams and dance around in my room by myself or with my roommate. Even just five minutes of dancing will impact your mood and give you a little energy rush to keep going.
Take a nap
It is important to let your body and brain rest when it needs it. Just make sure to time your naps correctly, then get right back to it once you get up. The trick is to set an alarm before you fall asleep or you will wake up in a panic, not refreshed.
Organize your clutter
If you are a little OCD like me you feel immense self pride in cleaning up little parts of your room that have become cluttered in your busy state. Take some time to clean it up! For me, a clean space helps clear my mind which helps me produce quality work.
Read for fun
This is quite possibly the hardest thing to do with a busy college schedule, but make some extra time to indulge in texts that make you happy. It could be a magazine, a newspaper or a book. A little bit of reading before you go to bed can help you unwind from a stressful day and help you go to sleep.
It feels like if we don’t have our phone on us 24/7 the world is going to fall apart. Trust me, it’s not. Take an hour out of your weekend to put your phone on airplane mode and in a drawer and just focus on whatever you want to for self care tips. Maybe it is school work, reading, writing, or simply just mellowing out in your room. You don’t always have to be in contact with everyone. Give yourself time to let your mind wander.
Write something nice about yourself once a day
It is so easy to focus on the negative aspects of ourselves, but taking the time to write down one thing we like about ourselves everyday will help improve your self confidence immensely. You are not a narcissist for loving yourself!
Drinking tea has SO many health benefits for self care tips. Tea contains substances linked to a lower risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes, which is only the beginning. Not only that, it is a nice, warm and healthy drink to have when it’s cold and makes for a great snapchat story aesthetic.