15 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care

It’s easy to get caught up in the demands of college life. An overwhelming schedule full of deadlines, tests and commitments can result in letting your own basic needs slip through the cracks. This is unfortunate because stressed out college students really need the benefits of self-care, something that everybody is lacking in nowadays. It is important to set aside time to do things that make you feel good. Practicing self-care helps combat stress and keeps you healthy. It doesn't have to be hard or cost money. There are simple ways to make sure you are taking care of yourself in order to feel the best you can. Don't know where to start? Here are 15 ways to implement self-care into your daily routine.

1. Go outside

Stepping outside and getting some fresh air is a great way to clear your head. Exposure to sunlight actually causes your brain to produce more serotonin, a chemical in your brain that makes you feel happy. Make an effort to spend some time outdoors everyday.

2. Go for a walk

Walking is an excellent self-care activity. Going for a walk calms you down and lowers stress and anxiety. If you have something on your mind that’s bothering you, you just might find that going for a walk helps those thoughts work themselves out.

3. Listen to music

Singing along to your favorite songs is is a surefire way to boost your mood. So turn on your favorite playlist and start dancing around!

4. Take a hot shower

There’s nothing as refreshing as taking a nice, hot shower. Use your favorite body wash, turn on some music, light some candles, and let the water wash away all your worries. You’ll come out feeling like a new person.

5. Eat regular meals

It’s important to eat regularly in order to keep your energy level up. It might be tempting to skip a meal or eat something that isn’t filling in the interest of saving time in your busy day, but this will leave you feeling drained. Being mindful of the foods your eating and listening to your body’s hunger cues will make sure that you have the energy to achieve everything on your to-do list.

6. Journal

Writing down your thoughts is so beneficial in helping you release your stress. There’s a sense of release that can come along with getting all the thoughts that have been floating around in your brain on paper. This is a great thing to do at night to unwind and calm your mind down before bed.

7. Get organized

Having a clean and organized space feels so good. Set aside time to get your space in order. Get rid of all the things that you don’t need. You’ll have a much easier time focusing and feeling productive. A de-cluttered space = a de-cluttered mind.

8. Write a list of things you're grateful for

Writing a gratitude list makes you realize all the things that you have in your life to be thankful for. The list can be as as simple or as in depth as you want it to be. Making a conscious effort to appreciate the things in life that make you smile will boost your happiness. You can look over your list anytime you want to lift your mood.

9. Call a loved one

It feels so good to hear the voice of someone you care about. Call up a parent or a close friend and have a good chat. Everyone enjoys talking to someone they love, and talking to someone about whatever’s on your mind is a healthy way to express yourself and prevents emotions from building up.

10. Take a nap

It’s hard to focus and get anything done when your tired. Napping has a lot of benefits, and it will make you feel so much better. Aim for a 20-60 minute nap in order to feel rested.

11. Read a book

Reading is a good activity for quieting your mind and relaxing. Picking up your favorite book offers you a way to take a break from what’s going on around you. If you’re looking for a good book, there are lots of book recommendation lists online for whatever genre you’re interested in.

12. Spend time alone

College is a time in which you find yourself constantly surrounded by people. While it’s nice to always have people around to hang out with, sometimes you just need to be by yourself to recharge. Make sure to set aside some you-time. Spending time alone keeps you connected to yourself and your needs.

13. Take a deep breath

Breathe slowly and consciously. Imagine that you’re trying to fill up your stomach with air, instead of breathing shallowly into your chest. When your feeling overwhelmed or stressed, stopping and taking a deep breath can help calm you down and bring you back to the present moment.

14. Get a good night's sleep

Sleep is so important and many college students are not getting enough of it. Sleep helps improve your overall performance. Challenge yourself to get to bed at a reasonable time.

15. Unplug

We live in a digital age run by social media. It’s hard to go without getting distracted by technology. But our devices can cause a lot of unnecessary anxiety, as well as disrupting the sleep cycle. Give yourself a break every once in a while. Turn off your devices and put them in a different room.

Although these tips are not a perfect solution, they may help you manage these upcoming stressful weeks and maintain exceptional mental health. Take care of yourself! XOXO