Reclaiming Your Time: 6 Tips to Maintain Self-Care in College

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Summer was a breeze – that is, if you weren’t working or taking summer classes. You spent your days at the beach, out on the town with friends, or in bed binge-watching Netflix. It seemed like you had all the time in the world and, on some days, you didn’t know what to do with yourself.

Now, 24 hours in a day isn’t enough. School is back in session. You’re taking four or five classes, all of which you have to worry about assignments and deadlines for. You’re a member of organizations that hold multiple events each month. You want to pass your classes, you want to be involved in everything and you want to be everywhere at once, all while somehow making time to take care of yourself. The truth is, you just can’t. You absolutely cannot spread yourself too thin, for the sake of your mental and emotional health. It took me a while but I realized that just the other day: I was extremely strung-out, and after taking time to think things out, I’ve decided to start doing what’s best for me, and you should too.

It is imperative that you find ways every day, no matter how small they seem, to take care of yourself. Self-care is an extremely important aspect of life, and you should make sure to implement little things that make you happy into all of your days. These are some of the things that I do, both while at home and at school, to minimize stress and show myself a little TLC:

1. Make your bed

Recently, I’ve started to make my bed as soon as I wake up. People have always told me that coming home to a neat, made bed helped them to feel better regardless of their situation – now, I see exactly what they meant and I wish I had listened earlier. It makes your room look 10 times better immediately, and it makes you feel like you actually have your life together (HA). Making your bed first thing in the morning gives you one less thing to worry about throughout the day and puts your mind at ease.

 

2. Listen to your favorite playlist

I could be having the most stressful day – running errands, going to classes, planning events for my organization – but as soon as I hear my favorite H.E.R. or SZA songs playing through my car speakers, life seems a little bit easier. In the midst of getting other things done, you too should still make time for yourself by listening to your favorite music.

3. Pamper yourself

I’m an extremely girly person, so I love to take myself out when I have the time. I love spoiling myself. I love getting my nails, toes, and eyebrows done. I love getting massages, taking bubble baths, and doing face masks. At least once a month, I have to pamper myself. It’s true what they say: When you look good, you feel good.

 

4. Pray

Since coming to FSU, I’ve grown so much closer to God; I’ve been so blessed over the past year. I found a home-church here in Tallahassee that I love dearly. I’ve been able to find comfort and peace in the Lord. Praying gives me peace-of-mind and allows me to think clearly when I’m overwhelmed or worried.

Note: Praying is a method that works specifically for the writer and might not be the preferred method of readers.

5. Take time out of your day to do things that you love

Whether it’s meeting up with a friend for lunch, or watching Netflix for a few hours, take time to yourself at least once a week. Try not to stress too much because you know yourself and that you’ll get everything done even if you take time to relax. I’ve learned that it’s okay to relax and take breaks when I’m overwhelmed; it’ll help in the grand scheme of things.

6. Say “no”

I’m getting more and more comfortable with saying “no” as time progresses. I’m learning that I do not owe anyone my time, nor my energy. I’m learning that I come first in a lot of situations; my mental and emotional health are my top priority. Ladies, do not feel obligated to do anything that you don’t want to do or aren’t comfortable with. If you want to curl up in bed instead of going to the “most hype” party of the semester, do that. Save your $10. If you don’t want to go “chill” (it’s a trap!) with that weird guy you matched with on Tinder, don’t. Girl, say no. Say it without hesitation and without explanation. You’ll thank yourself later.

Those are just a few small things that I’ve implemented into my life that have made me a happier woman overall. I often find myself stressed due to classes and campus involvement, but I’ve found ways to relax and minimize my worries. I’ve reclaimed my time and peace-of-mind. Ladies, it’s time for you to do the same.

*All photos are courtesy of Riel Felice.