Things You Should Be Doing More Often

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Here’s the deal, everyone knows that being in university or college is a crazy, busy, and stressful time. Managing your solo life can be challenging, causing you to neglect certain things that are super beneficial to your health and only take a few seconds to do. By integrating these tips into a routine, you will save yourself a lot of heartache and in some cases, weeks of being sick! And since the first weeks of school are already upon us, here are some reminders of things you should be doing to take care of yourself that the heat of the summer might have erased from your memory.

1. Changing your pillowcase

Imagine carefully cleansing your face day and night, only to wake up with a random pimple in the morning. Sound familiar? Your pillowcase might be the party to blame. Getting in the habit of changing it regularly will improve your hygiene in general and could change your life! I know it sounds dramatic but this has become an integral part of my cleaning routine. It doesn’t take much effort if you have extra pillowcases and do your laundry each week. While you probably can’t change your pillowcase every day, changing it every week or as often as you can/remember is a good way to reap some beauty benefits. While you sleep, the oils on your scalp and in your hair can transfer to your pillowcase, as well as dead skin cells and plain old sweat. It follows that continually resting your face on these microscopic irritants can lead to breakouts. As such, changing your pillowcase will go a long way in the fight against clogged pores, especially if you are prone to breakouts or have sensitive skin. By remembering this simple task, you will also discourage dust mite activity and germ growth. It only takes a couple seconds to strip your pillow, toss the case in with your laundry, and replace it with a fresh one. Couldn’t be easier!

2. Cleaning your makeup brushes

I, like most girls, am guilty of not cleaning my makeup brushes regularly. However, once you think about it, it’s kind of a no-brainer that dirty brushes can cause breakouts and infections. These brushes continually come in contact with the oil on your face, pimples, germs and the makeup products themselves. If you are not careful and wash them often, you can be spreading lots of bacteria that will continue to live in your eyeshadow palettes and contour kits. Most importantly, you want to be extremely careful with products and brushes going in and around your eye region. Infections around your eye are among the most annoying and painful to deal with. My advice is to be proactive and keep bad bacteria away by maintaining clean makeup tools.

3. Disinfecting your phone and other devices!

It’s easy to forget that everything we touch as we go about our day ends up on our phone and laptop. In fact, a tech shop in my hometown has the exact same warning written on a sign out front. Though, they are trying to sell some fancy screen cleaning wipes, they do have a point. The most recommended cleaning procedure that I’ve found involves using tools that you probably already have at home. All you need to do is use a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of water and rubbing alcohol, spray that onto a micro-fibre cloth and use that to wipe down your phone. You shouldn’t, however, go overboard with this because there’s a chance that the oil resistant layer on your phone screen might become damaged over time by this diluted solution. Once a week should be just fine to take care of those pesky microbes.

4. Changing your toothbrush

I hope I’m not the first to tell you this but you should be replacing your toothbrush every 3 months and after each time that you're seriously ill. If you are not doing this, you are definitely at risk of getting sick or re-infecting yourself with the virus that just took you out for a week. As your dentist will tell you, even when you’re healthy, your mouth is full of bacteria and that bacteria is transferred directly onto your toothbrush. I mean just the thought of putting an old toothbrush full of germs into my mouth makes me cringe. So please, please, please play it safe and get rid of your toothbrush when it’s time. They can cost as little as a dollar each so it’s really not worth it to risk your health or your time.

5. Giving your nails a break

While I do love a good manicure, regular nail polish and other treatments like gel or acrylics can begin to weaken your nails over time. I’ve noticed that in periods when I do my nails every week, they tend to break more easily when trying to grow them out. If I give my nails a rest with nothing on them for a period of 3 weeks or more, my nails tend to grow stronger and longer with less breakage. So yes, you can do your nails, but try to stagger your appointments so that your nails have time to breathe. Better yet, take as long of a break as you can in between polishes. You’ll definitely notice the difference!

BONUS TIP: Getting a full-night’s rest

How many of us post-secondary students can say that we have a regular sleeping schedule? I know that’s not me and probably not you. While we may get enough sleep some days, we lack the time to get a good rest when schoolwork starts picking up around midterms and finals. At the time, you may not realize just how little sleep you’re getting and how it’s affecting your brain and school performance. Many scientific studies have proven that the benefits to getting a proper sleep are endless. This includes a longer attention span, weight loss, decreased risk of cancer and heart disease, and more youthful looking skin! Something that I haven’t heard many people talk about is that the Bedtime feature in the Clock app on the iPhone is actually super helpful. You can use this to see how many hours of sleep you are getting daily. The main feature is that if you need to wake up at a certain time the next day, it allows you to plan when you should go to sleep accordingly. This has saved my life in the past, especially when my schedule varied and I needed to wake up at different times throughout the week. For those of you without iPhones, this website is free and does the same thing as the iPhone's Bedtime feature. It's important to catch those extra Z’s whenever possible. Your body will thank you later.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

About The Author

Cheryl is a second year student at the University of Ottawa studying Political Science and Communication. She is passionate about all kinds of art, but mostly writing and photography. She is an avid traveler and hopes to one day have a career that enables her adventurous spirit!

Cheryl est une étudiante en deuxième année à l’Université d’Ottawa. Elle étudie la science politique et la communication. Elle aime beaucoup les arts, les écrits et la photographie en particulier. Elle est une voyageuse et voudrait avoir un emploi qui comprend des occasions à voyager tout autour du monde!