The Importance of Self-Care as a College Student

If you’ve read any of my other articles, you know how much of an advocate I am for mental health. As much as I love to tell everyone else how to make sure they are taking care of themselves mentally by hitting the “reset” button, I sometimes fail to follow these directions myself. Therefore, I figure that if I write all of these tips and tricks down, there is no way I can forget them and there is no way you can either! It’s all about accountability, people! So, without further ado, here are my best tips and tricks for self-care.

1. Mental health check-ins

DePauw’s Counseling Services are actually extremely accessible and very professional. I popped into the Health and Wellness Center at Hogate Hall the other day to inquire about their services and got an appointment the very next day. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with life or just need a third party other than your friends or family to talk to, I would highly recommend checking it out. Even if you are a bit nervous, the trained therapists can help answer any questions about the process of counseling to put you at ease. I find that having a regular time set aside once a week to focus on your improvement (or decline) of mental health can help keep everything in check.

2. Putting the screens away

I find myself much more relaxed when I put down my computer or phone for a while. This is easier said than done since practically every aspect of our schooling takes place on these screens, but when you can, put them away during your free time. Take a walk or simply sit and reflect instead. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t always need constant stimulation. It’s good to give our eyes and our minds a rest.

3. Napping, napping, and more napping

I am such a proponent for napping! If you are feeling run down from the craziness of each week, try to set aside a time to sleep. If you can’t fall asleep like some of us, maybe just set aside a time to lay down and rest. I find that napping actually helps me accomplish more in the day because I have a lot more energy, and I think it is important to try to get rid of as much of your sleep debt as possible. Let’s face it, college is really hard and super busy, and if you are constantly on the go you deserve to reward yourself with a break. Naps have truly changed my life, you guys. #NapQueen

4. Positive self-talk

So this year, instead of giving up sweets, cuss words, or drinking too much caffeine for Lent, I decided to give up negative self-talk. Although it is not a tangible item to give up, it has probably been the most beneficial sacrifice I’ve made. It is really hard to scroll through the popular page on Instagram and see models displaying their seemingly perfect bodies and lives and wonder why we can’t look the same way or have the same things. It’s equally as hard sometimes to look in the mirror and choose to point out what we like about ourselves instead of the things we hate. In the process of trying to give up negative self-talk, I have realized that I actually like, rather than dislike, a lot more things about myself than I previously realized. However, it wasn’t until I chose to lift myself up rather than put myself down that I realized this. Try your best to build yourself up, because nobody knows how to love you better than yourself!

5. Pampering yourself

Just like napping, set aside some time each week to treat yourself from a beauty standpoint. I really like using face masks once or twice a week or painting my nails. Treating your outside can be as important as treating your inside because it is literally a physical representation of hitting the reset button. Plus, who doesn’t love feeling extra beautiful every now and then? Remember guys, self-care = self-love! I hope these tips and tricks can help you like they’ve helped me.