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5 Ways to Practice Mental Self-Care

Prelims, extracurriculars, applying for internships, relationships, social drama, getting enough sleep, staying healthy and getting exercise. The list just goes on and on. As we dive into the last few weeks of the semester, many of us start to drown in all the stress and anxiety caused by the pressure we put on ourselves. While it’s important to be figuring out all these aspects of your life, it’s just as important to take care of your mind to save you from what may seem like an inevitable mental breakdown. With a healthy mind comes motivation, energy and better physical and mental functioning, so here are some ways to practice mental self-care.


1.Take care of yourself physically.

Physical self-care should consist of two parts: personal hygiene and exercise. Keep yourself groomed at all times. This means brushing your hair and teeth, having clean breath, washing your hair regularly and in general, maintaining a clean and well-kept look. You should also try to get some sort of physical exercise regularly, whether it’s going for a walk, playing a sport or going to the gym. A healthy body will keep you fresh and energized and is the first step to a healthy mind.


2.  Take the time to do the things you love

We often get swept into the many things going on in our lives and just try to ignore the stress and anxiety coming our way. Mental health seems to only be a concern when it’s a medical condition, but it’s important to practice good mental health everyday. One of the best ways to destress is to take a little bit of time out of everyday, regardless of how busy it is, to do something you love like going for a run, reading a book or watching an episode of your favorite TV show.


3. Develop your emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of and control one’s emotional state. Most college students have poor emotional intelligence, particularly the “awareness” part. Learn to identify what emotion you’re feeling in a given moment so you can address the root of your mental state correctly.


4. Find balance in your social life

We’re human, meaning we often have the urge to be surrounded by people and the need to be alone at the same time. Finding a balance between these two will really help alleviate stress and anxiety. Being with friends will allow you to socialize and forget about all your worries for a while, and taking some time to yourself will give you some time to think in peace. Good mental health often require both of these things.


5. Don’t be afraid to take a break

When we’re sick, we take a sick day so we can recover and come back to school or work 100%. The same applies to your mind. If you feel the mental exhaustion becoming overwhelming, don’t hesitate to take mental health day to relax, reset and come back to school at 100%.

The last month of the semester can be stressful, so don’t forget to take care of yourself and make your mental health a priority. That way, you can rock these last few weeks and ace your finals!


Cornell University Class of 2020 Computer Science and Economics Major
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