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8 self-care tips for stressed-out students

With deadlines beginning to loom over us again and the constant reminder that we have university work to get on with, it can become pretty easy to forget to look after ourselves. You begin to feel guilty for taking a break from work or you end up going non-stop to the point you completely forget to take some time to yourself. Last year I was constantly on the go and managed to get myself to the point where I forgot to shower for 5 whole days (gross I know!). That was a wake-up call that made me realise self-care is extremely important and must be prioritised over anything and everything. Let’s face it, are you really going to produce your best work when you are completely burnt out and in need of a break?  

While the face masks, bubble baths, massage sessions and daily yoga exercises make us all feel good and refreshed, there is far more to self-care than the generic tips and tricks you see every day on social media. Here are 8 self-care tips that will help you feel recharged when you’re feeling anxious or burnt out.  

1. Schedule your week every Sunday. 

While this sounds like such a simple tip, it is extremely effective. Having a weekly planner sitting in front of you at the start of your week relieves any stress of forgetting plans you have made with friends and keeps you on track with your weekly to-do list. Along with this, make sure to cross off everything you have done during the week. It makes you feel like you have accomplished something every day and keeps you motivated throughout the week! 

2. Make your bed. 

You’ll have already accomplished one thing off your to-do list for the day. The way you start your day has a knock-on effect on how the rest of your day goes. Making your bed is a simple self-care tip that will start your day off in the right direction. 

3. Leave your home once a day. 

I devote my life to this tip! It’s what manages to keep me going throughout my day. There is nothing worse than being stuck in your own home and feeling unproductive in bed. You don’t even need to leave your home for a long time. Sometimes I nip down to the shop for 5 minutes just to go buy some snacks and regard that as having left the house for a small portion of my day. It makes me feel energised and focused for when I come home and have hours of studying to do. 

4.  Have a rest day. 

Set a specific day consistently every week where you take time to focus on just YOU. It can be so easy to get caught up in all the things you have to do and completely forget to take time out of your week and focus on your own wants and needs. Use your rest day to your advantage and spend time watching that TV show you haven’t had the chance to catch up on or go to that café you’ve been meaning to go to for months! 

5. Switch off your phone. 

Life can be so overwhelming, and our phones can play a big part in this. Sometimes we think that during our downtime, going on our phones will help us relax when in fact it does the complete opposite. The feeling of being obligated to reply to friends all the time and worrying about those emails coming through while you’re scrolling on Instagram is not an effective way of relaxing. Switch that phone off for at least an hour and completely unwind! 

6. Exercise! 

Regular exercise will keep your brain healthy and help keep your thoughts and emotions in check. While a hard-core workout isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, even a long walk on the beach whilst listening to your favourite playlist will be extremely beneficial to stimulating your mind and connecting with yourself. 

7. Remember to make time for the things and the people you love. 

It can be so easy to fill up your time with work and you completely forget to do the things you love. Remember that book you were going to read or those plans you were going to make with your best friend? Go do it! These things will put you in a good mood and will even help create a better quality of work in the long run. 

8. Be kind to yourself. 

Self-care comes with a lot of self-love and self-compassion. During stressful times, especially at university or at work, we can find ourselves pointing out every little flaw and mistake we make. Be kind to yourself and remember to treat yourself the same way you wish to be treated by others. While it is easier said than done, stop being harsh on yourself and forgive your own slip-ups. Remember to breathe! 

Esmee Johnston

Aberdeen '22

4th year Politics and International Relations student
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